The President of City University of Hong Kong spoke about the conditions that are needed for energy solutions at the “Hong Kong Future Energy Solutions Seminar” on 9 June.
Professor Way Kuo said that there were three conditions that needed to be considered when planning energy solutions: environmental friendliness, economic gains, and reliability and sustainability. Equilibrium among these three areas should be achieved. He believed that the government should put more resources into research for new alternative energy sources, and one way of doing that was to use revenue from energy consumption.
Professor Kuo went on to analyse the three conditions. He believed that energy was a necessity for life, and was highly related to the environment. Forty percent of the world had no, or insufficient, electricity supply, he said. These places are characterised by poor hygiene, few education opportunities, a low quality of life, and a life expectancy of under 50 years of age. Moreover, energy consumption is in direct proportion to economic development, especially in areas where the main industry is manufacturing.
In addition, having reliable and sustainable energy sources was very important, Professor Kuo said. Among the many different energy sources, such as hydraulic, thermal, nuclear, wind and solar, thermal and nuclear power are comparatively more sustainable, but both have their pros and cons. Professor Kuo concluded that there were underlying risks with every energy-planning decision, and therefore it was important to assess the amount of risk that a society could bear.
The seminar was organised by the Business and Professionals Alliance for Hong Kong (BPA), with an opening speech by Mr Wong Kam-sing, Secretary for the Environment.
In the panel discussion session chaired by Dr Lo Wai-kwok, Vice-Chairman of the BPA, Professor Kuo exchanged his views on energy planning with other guests, including Mr Vincent Liu Ming-kwong, Deputy Secretary for the Environment, Professor Raymond So Wai-man, Dean of School of Business of Hang Seng Management College, Mr Clement Chen Cheng-jen, Chairman of Hong Kong Productivity Council, Ms Betty Yuen So Siu-mai, Vice-Chairman of CLP Power, and Mr Wan Chi-tin, Managing Director of Hong Kong Electric.