BMI View: Hong Kong remains heavily dependent on thermal energy, with coal accounting for approximately 65.5 % of the city-state's energy production as of 201 4 . Although the government is actively researching renewable energy solutions to curb this dependency, it is most likely Hong Kong will become increasingly reliant on mainland China and imported natural gas over the medium term.
BMI forecasts Hong Kong's real GDP growth will average 3.6% a year between 2015-2024, with an increase of 2.7% estimated for 2015. BMI is forecasting an average annual increase in total electricity consumption of 1.8% to 46.12TWh between 2015-2019. Thermal generation, comprising coal, gas and oil, is expected to grow by an average of 2.2% per annum over the same period, and average 2.4% between 2019-2024. Thermal power generation will continue to account for all of domestic production, with imports from nuclear and pumped storage capacity in China .
Apart from domestic thermal energy production, Hong Kong is making limited progress in the field of renewable energy, with China Light & Power (CLP) and Hong Kong Electric Co. (HEC) drawing up plans for offshore wind farms. In addition, Hong Kong imports electricity generated by the Daya Bay Nuclear Power Station (DBNPS) in mainland China - Hong Kong has no plans to build its own nuclear facilities - and CLP has struck a deal with Chinese firms over long-term plans to import natural gas.
Hong Kong is in 13th position in BMI's Asia Power Risk/Reward Ratings (RRRs), owing to its modest market size and below average growth prospects. It scores above average for industry and country risks, with its total score dragged down by the rewards side of the matrix.
Key Trends And Dev elopments
Hong Kong's energy dependence on China is growing, with the Hong Kong government agreeing to a deal by CLP Power Hong Kong to purchase natural gas from state-owned PetroChina's second east-west pipeline over the next two decades. CLP has repeatedly suggested the government shift towards domestic, gas-fired electricity production rather than to directly import electricity from the mainland as part of an ongoing consultation regarding Hong Kong's future power generation mix.
Hong Kong is attempting to take its coal-fired power generating units offline by 2017, in an effort to reduce air pollution that is largely caused by the thermal electricity generation and is exacerbated by Hong Kong's proximity to Chinese province Guangdong.
In order to replace the electricity generated by the coal plants, the two main options are an increase in gas-fired plants to 60% of output, with the remainder covered by direct imports from China, or a larger increase in direct imports from China and an increase in gas-fired production to 40% of output.
Hongkong Electric, CLP, and the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce have opposed plans to deregulate Hong Kong's power sector in consultations with the government on the grounds that it will lead to high levels of uncertainty. The deregulation process, which was previously expected to begin in earnest in 2018, may be shelved indefinitely.