Friday, 4 November 2016

When will HK see the light on solar power? - SCMP. 4 November

My letter published in today's South China Morning Post. 

"Check out the sweet roof," said Tesla boss Elon Musk, introducing the company's new solar roof tiles to the public ("Now available in other colours", ­November 2).
This brings to mind a question I've long had. Why do we see no solar panels on buildings in Hong Kong? One reason might be that in such a vertical city, ­solar power can deliver only a small fraction of our electricity needs. But surely some is better than none. In my own village of Discovery Bay, we have a lot more medium- and low-rise housing that would benefit from solar power.
In Siena village, we even have exactly the same Tuscan roof tiles that Mr Musk is promoting in California. And yet Hong Kong has no incentive for solar, such as the common provision elsewhere for excess solar power to be sold back to the grid.
How about it, Hong Kong government? Surely promoting solar power is at least one thing that all folk in the fractious ­Legislative Council could agree on?
Peter Forsythe, Discovery Bay