Hong Kong’s environment secretary says electricity prices will not exceed inflation, reveals negotiations are underway to produce nuclear energy in mainland China

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Hong Kong’s environment secretary said electricity prices would not exceed the rate of inflation, while also revealing authorities were engaged in talks to produce nuclear power in mainland China to help meet carbon targets.

Environment and Ecology Minister Tse Ching-wan said the government will cut investment spending by the city’s two power companies over the next five years to curb price hikes.

“We believe we will have more control over base rate increases in the future, and we are confident that the increases will be less than the rate of inflation,” Tse said on Saturday’s radio show.

Environment and Ecology Minister Tse Ching-wan expressed confidence that the price increase rate would be lower than the inflation rate.Photo: Sam Tsang

Last month, both power companies announced that they would lower fuel rates while raising basic rates by about 2% based on capital investment plans.

Taking existing rebates into account, residential rates for CLP Power, which supplies energy to Kowloon and the New Territories, will be reduced by 7.4% from next year.

Similarly, rates for HK Electric, which serves Hong Kong and Lamma Island, will be reduced by 16%.

Tse said the government did not include proposals by the two power companies to build offshore wind farms in the investment plan after the mid-term review because high construction and storage costs would weigh on electricity bills.

The minister said authorities were considering importing more nuclear energy from the mainland instead.

Hong Kong’s CLP Power and HK Electric to cut prices by up to 16%

He said the government aims to provide 70 per cent of the city’s energy from nuclear power by 2035, with the goal of cutting carbon emissions in half compared to 2005 levels. said.

Half of Hong Kong’s energy is generated from natural gas, a quarter from burned coal, and the remaining quarter is imported from the Daya Bay Nuclear Power Plant in Guangdong province.

Tse revealed that Hong Kong is in talks with mainland authorities to seek a mutually beneficial agreement to build nuclear power plants across the border to supply energy to Hong Kong and even the mainland by 2035. I made it.

“Even if we stop burning coal, we still won’t meet our carbon targets,” he said. “If you do the math, in order to halve carbon emissions, you would have to increase your nuclear energy consumption by 60 or 70 percent.”

Hong Kong power company plans to reveal tariff plan for 2024 to help those in need

Tse said the government has asked Hong Kong Electric Power to increase nuclear energy imports from Daya Bay, and also to accept more nuclear energy from the mainland to supply 35 percent of the city’s total energy. It added that it plans to build an energy station on reclaimed land in Tseung Tseung O. Energy consumption.

He said the government is asking power companies to build more energy cables to connect Hong Kong Island to the mainland’s energy supply to lower electricity prices.

“Nuclear energy is more stable and is not affected by energy prices around the world,” he said. “This will help stabilize electricity prices in Hong Kong.”

Dr Lam Chin-choy, head of the Carbon Neutrality and Sustainable Development Council, called on governments to import more nuclear energy across borders in an interview with the Post earlier this month.

Lam said effective cooperation between the two countries and the reliability of nuclear energy compared with other power sources are favorable factors.

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