Deliberative Workshop on Solar Photovoltaic Development in Hong Kong and Soft Launch of the Hong Kong Solar Map

2016-11-07
 Prof. Raymond So delivered the introductory remark officially kicking off the workshop.

The Deliberative Workshop on "Solar Photovoltaic Development in Hong Kong: Prospects and Policy Challenges"

The Asian Energy Studies Centre (AESC), together with the Department of Geography and Centre for Geo-Computational Studies at HKBU, School of Energy and Environment at City University of Hong Kong, the Center for Deliberative Democracy at Stanford University, and the Department of Geography at the University of Hong Kong organised the two-day deliberative workshop on "Solar Photovoltaic (PV) Development in Hong Kong: Prospects and Policy Challenges" on 4-5 November 2016.

This workshop invited about 60 participants. They consisted of potential solar PV adopters such as village house owners, sampled Hong Kong citizens, and commercial and institutional representatives from utility companies, energy service companies, developers, hotels, airline companies, and consultancies. Prof. Raymond So Wai-Man, Chairman of the Energy Advisory Committee of the HKSAR Government and event moderator of this deliberative workshop conducted the introductory remarks, officially kicking off the workshop on 4 November 2016.

This unique workshop adopted Deliberative Polling, an innovative deliberative participation method trademarked by Stanford University’s Center for Deliberative Democracy. Deliberative Polling aims to empower engaged and informed participants to take a proactive role in clarifying and debating key issues on matters of public importance. Its key elements include small group sessions, Q & A session with a balanced panel of experts, and a plenary session, as well as questionnaires for participants prior to and after deliberation. Prior to the workshop, participants were interviewed and provided a briefing document. At the small groups and expert Q & A sessions of the workshop, participants shared their views, and debated and clarified key issues and policies critical to solar PV deployment. Key issues discussed included Hong Kong’s solar potential, technical challenges such as grid connection and stability, tariff impact and costs, and policies and regulations. Participants also discussed five possible policies for solar PV development in Hong Kong: feed-in tariff, net metering, solar leasing, renewable energy certificates, and renewable energy bonds.

The expert Q & A session provided opportunities for participants to raise important questions to expert panellists based on their respective small group discussions. Featured expert panellists represented diverse opinions and expertise in energy and sustainability in Hong Kong. Expert panellists included Prof. Michael Leung from City University of Hong Kong, Mr. Prashant Vaze and Dr. Victor Hung from Consumer Council, Mr. Stephen Chan from CLP Power Hong Kong Ltd, Mr. T. C. Yee from Hong Kong Electric, Mr. William Leung from W3 Corporate Ltd, and Ir. Albert Lai from Carbon Care Asia.

Near the end of the workshop, participants from respective small groups shared and interacted with expert panellists on their group’s visions of Hong Kong’s solar PV policy roadmap in the coming years. Participants completed workshop questionnaires which are to be used to assess any attitude change after deliberation.

The discussions, expressed views and questionnaire findings will be made available and disseminated to officials at the Environment Bureau in the HKSAR Government and other relevant stakeholders for the planning of Hong Kong’s solar PV policies in the future. Project developments and knowledge dissemination after workshop, as well as find the briefing document, questionnaire findings, videos and photos can be found on the event page once they are available: http://aesc.hkbu.edu.hk/events/solar-workshop-hk (For English, please click here: http://aesc.hkbu.edu.hk/events/solar-workshop-hk-en).