Reliability and Affordability

Electricity is a key component of modern life. Greater electricity demand requires burning more fuel and thus creating the all-time debate for the power industry - fuel combustion and its environmental concerns.

While we recognise that environmental performance is an essential dimension requiring consideration during the power generation process, reliability and affordability of electricity supply are also important in the economic and social development of society. In such cases, a diversified fuel mix strategy of a power company helps ensure that electricity is constantly available, even in the case of supply interruptions of a fuel source. It also facilitates the power company to manage the risks associated with a particular fuel's price volatility so as to maintain a stable and affordable tariff for its customers.


Comparison of Fuel Sources for Power Generation in Hong Kong
Fuel Availability Reliability of Performance Affordability Greenhouse Gas Emissions Level
Fossil

Natural Gas
Enough supply for decades High Medium price & rising* Medium to High

Coal
Adequate supply for centuries High Low price & rising* High to very High
Non-fossil

Renewable energy
(wind and solar)
Constrained locally Uncertain
(power will not be available when there is no wind or sunlight)
High Price Low

Nuclear (Uranium)
Adequate supply for centuries High Low price & stable* Low
*According to Hong Kong’s Climate Change Strategy and Action Agenda Consultation Document (2010):

Unit cost of natural gas-fired electricity : about 70-90 cents/kWh
Unit cost of coal-fired electricity : about 40-60 cents/kWh
Unit price of nuclear electricity imported from the Mainland : about 50 cents/kWh