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EMSD - a green navigator keeps Hong Kong moving safely towards for a sustainable future
  • “Renewable energy is not just conceptual, we can try our best to develop and use it.”
  • “Renewable energy is not just conceptual, we can try our best to develop and use it.”

“Renewable energy is not just conceptual, we can try our best to develop and use it.”

Dec 2015

A navigator could lead a vehicle to its destination. The Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) has been acting the exact role in Hong Kong, leading us to a reliable and sheltered level, with strict but necessary regulations securing property and protecting lives. Apart from being a guardian, EMSD is also a green supporter who aims to enhance the public’s awareness of utilisation of energy, promoting an economical and environmental friendly life in Hong Kong.

Ir Frank Chan Fan JP, the Director of EMSD said, "We hope that every citizen can participate in energy consumption every day." This issue does matter to everyone in this city. Ir Chan pointed out, "Although electricity is not the only energy we use, it is the most common and important in our daily lives. 65% and 25% of it is used in commercial and residential buildings respectively, where almost all of our activities take place." Undoubtedly, the more we enjoy our cozy and modern life, the more electricity we keep using for sure. As a result, EMSD set up the "Mandatory Energy Efficiency Labelling Scheme", covering air conditioners, refrigerating appliances and compact fluorescent lamps since its launch in 2009. Two years later, it extended to washing machines and dehumidifiers. All of these products are required to list reference numbers and bear energy labels for consumer reference. This small, colourful and informative label helps us make a smart decision for purchasing and it is a remarkable change for the public.

Renewable energy development is indispensable worldwide and EMSD has organized an array of activities promoting the public’s awareness of the issue. The coming “New Energy New Generation Solar Car Competition” is one of them. This inspirational activity, targeting secondary and university students, will be held in January next year. The participants will have financial and technical assistance. However, they have to conquer the rest of the challenges on their own. From design to production of a solar-powered vehicle, the competition requires participants to utilise a combination of talents, including creativity, technology understanding and applied science knowledge, in areas such as solar capture, energy transformation and efficiency. Ir Chan emphasized, "The competition aims to raise the public’s awareness of energy consumption but also encourages our young generation to experience the whole process, starting from scratch and get used to problems in and out, rather than focusing on technology application only." IVE SOPHIE solar car team is also invited as one of the partners supporting this competition by providing technology advice to all secondary school and university participants. "Renewable energy is not just conceptual, we can try our best to develop and use it, even though we have different geographical and economical barriers." Ir Chan advocated. In fact, EMSD is a successful demonstrator for showing the feasible application of renewable energy in Hong Kong. A solar array, made up of more than 2,300 PV (photovoltaic) modules, is installed on the roof of its headquarters in Kowloon Bay, providing part of the electrical power for the building.

While green technology is taking a more important role in new buildings, maintenance of existing infrastructure are in huge demand as most of the areas in Hong Kong were developed decades ago. The manpower need in the engineering field is greater than what we see. Ir Chan said, "All projects need regular checks and appropriate maintenance, including the buildings itself, elevators or even air-conditioners. The demand for professional technicians is as high as engineers. Technical positions are equally important to steer the development of one society. Actually, IVE is a good source to provide talented youngsters who can shine in different positions."

Engineering profession moves with technological advancement every day. With an endeavour to learn, one could never lag behind the world. Ir Chan summed up the key to success with his favourite saying from Mohandas Gandhi, "Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever."

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