The Energy Scene of Hong Kong

Energy is crucial to the development of modern society. For a metropolitan city like Hong Kong, energy is of fundamental importance to economic activities therein. With the scarcity of flat land within a territory of only 1097 square km accommodating a high and ever increasing population, we need to secure energy resources to create a habitable indoor environment inside the high-rise commercial and residential buildings.

We also need a lot of energy resources to drive our infrastructure machinery - our water supply, drainage systems and road networks. Of course we require energy to provide mobility for everyone of us - railway, trams, cars, aeroplanes.

However, there are no indigenous energy resources in Hong Kong, we have to derive energy supplies almost entirely from external sources. Energy is either imported directly (as in the case of oil products and coal products), or produced through some intermediate transformation processes using imported fuel inputs (as in the case of electricity and towngas). Small amount of energy are produced by renewable energy sources such as solar and wind energy.

To explain the energy scene of Hong Kong, we first look at two major aggregate energy indicators: the "Primary Energy Requirements" (the equivalent of "Total Primary Energy Supply (TPS)" of other economies) and the "Final Energy Requirements" (the equivalent of "Total Final Energy Consumption (TFC)" of other economies)

"Primary energy requirements" (PER) refers to the overall energy consumption within the geographic territory. It represents the total supply of energy available to the territory, which supports all the requirements for energy transformation and final consumption in that territory, and includes both indigenous energy sources and imported energy commodities consumed within the territory. In the case of Hong Kong, it is calculated from retained imports of coal and oil products as well as electricity, net of bunkers' usage, after adjustment for supply from stock.

"Final energy requirements" (FER) refers to the amount of energy consumed by final users for all energy purposes such as heating, cooking and driving machinery. It differs from PER in that the latter includes all energy used or lost in the energy transformation and the distribution process.

According to Government's statistics, from 2005 to 2015, the primary energy requirements (PER) was about the same but the final energy requirements (FER) decreased by 4.0%.

PER and FER from 2005 to 2015

The electricity consumption increased from 144,172 TJ in 2005 to 158,274TJ in 2015 by 9.8%.

Coal dominates the fuel mix for power generation in Hong Kong, in 2013 on sent-out basis, at around 57%, followed by natural gas 21% and nuclear power imported from the Mainland 22%.

Fuel mix in 2013 (on sent-out basis)