23 Feb 2011
120. The environmental industries, while at an initial stage of development, are growing impressively. In 2009, the value added of the green industries rose by 12.4 per cent and the number of employees also increased by 3.6 per cent. We have been promoting the development of environmental industries and a green economy through multi-pronged policies and initiatives. They include enhancing building energy efficiency and promoting the use of energy-saving household appliances by legislation, setting up the Pilot Green Transport Fund, making more use of electric vehicles, and taking forward other measures such as expanding the list of products with green specifications for government procurement, piloting the use of new green materials in public works, encouraging scientific research on environmental protection and building environmental infrastructure.
121. We have been making good progress in promoting energy saving and improving energy efficiency. With the mandatory compliance of the Building Energy Codes, which will take effect shortly, it is estimated that 2.8 billion kWh of electricity will be saved for new buildings and carbon emissions will be reduced by about 1.9 million tonnes in the first ten years. The construction of the first district cooling system at the Kai Tak Development will commence this year. Upon its completion, we expect to save as much as 85 million kWh of electricity and reduce approximately 60 000 tonnes of carbon emissions each year. Participation of the environmental industries is essential to the implementation of these energy saving and emission reduction measures which will in turn create business opportunities for them.
122. On improving roadside air quality, the new Pilot Green Transport Fund, set up to encourage the transport sector to test out green and low-carbon transport modes and technology, will be open for application by end-March. We are also preparing for a number of trial schemes in collaboration with the franchised bus companies, including the trying out of hybrid buses on busy corridors and retrofitting of Euro II and III buses with catalytic reduction devices to meet the Euro IV emission standard. The above schemes, involving trials and retrofitting processes, will help promote a green economy.
123. Over the past two years, the Steering Committee on the Promotion of Electric Vehicles chaired by me has been actively promoting the use of electric vehicles through various policy initiatives and measures. Currently, there are about 100 electric vehicles on Hong Kong roads and over 260 charging stations across the territory for public use. A number of electric vehicle models have been rolled out on the market. Subject to the availability of suitable models on the market and the operational needs of bureaux and departments, we will give priority to electric vehicles when replacing government vehicles in the two financial years of 2011-12 and
2012-13. We expect to have an intake of close to 200 electric vehicles of various types in these two years. In addition, we plan to install more charging facilities for electric vehicles in government car parks, and will encourage the business and non-government sectors to join hands in expanding the charging network across the territory.