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China

First commercial wind turbine installed in Hong Kong

Hong Kong recently installed its first commercial wind turbine, a Vestas 800 kW unit next to Hong Kong Electric Company's Lamma Island power station. It represents a pioneering move into renewable energy for Hong Kong Electric, which meets all the electricity needs of Hong Kong Island and Lamma Island. At present, the 3420 MW station runs almost entirely on coal. The wind turbine, due for commissioning early next year, is expected to generate up to 1 GWh a year. Hong Kong Electric believes the turbine will attract visitors to the island and plans to open an educational centre on site. Chief Engineer Cheung Nai-yik says the HK$15 million project offers valuable experience in the application of wind energy and has allowed the company "to study the feasibility of developing renewable energy projects on a larger scale." Meantime, Greenpeace China is lobbying for the Hong Kong government to support clean energy. The organisation installed a three-metre model wind turbine in central Hong Kong to mark the launch of its "Sure Wind Campaign." Opinion polls show over 80% of residents are in favour of wind energy and Greenpeace hopes thousands will sign up to become "wind ambassadors." Greenpeace's Gloria Chang notes that Hong Kong can play a crucial role in tackling climate change by developing wind plant and investing in wind in neighbouring Guangdong Province, where there are already 180 turbines. "It is our responsibility to act," she says. Government estimates put the total wind resource in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region at 1000 MW installed capacity onshore and 3000 MW offshore.

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