UNICA: Brazilian Ethanol Exports to US Surge Despite Tariff
China’s Auto Sales Grew 46.9% in First Half of 2006

Hongkong Electric Conducting Feasibility Study on 100MW Offshore Wind Farm

Layout of one of the two potential sites, southwest of Lamma. Click to enlarge.

Hongkong Electric (HKE) is studying the feasibility of developing a 100-megawatt (MW) offshore wind farm in Hong Kong waters, following its successful launch of the city’s first wind power project at Lamma Island earlier this year.

HKE submitted a project profile to Government for an environmental impact assessment (EIA) study brief to build the offshore wind farm at two potential sites: 3.5 km southwest of Lamma Island and 3.2 km southeast of Ninepin Group.

The sites were selected after taking into account factors such as wind potential, navigation channel, seabed utilities, marine conservation areas, water depths and proximity to Hongkong Electric’s power grid.

The project is undertaken in support of the Government’s policy of having 1-2% of electricity generated by renewable energy by 2012. As land resources are scarce in Hong Kong, the development of offshore wind farm is the only viable option.

Our plan is to build a total of 40 triple-bladed wind turbines, each of 2.5 MW, at the wind farm which can potentially generate about 175 million units of electricity every year. This is enough energy for about 50,000 families in Hong Kong, representing about 1.6% of Hongkong Electric’s electricity output in 2005

—Dr. Tso Che-wah, HKE Chief Engineer (Projects)

The EIA study will take more than a year and is expected to complete by end 2007, covering areas like potential impacts on the environment, ecology and fisheries, both during construction and operation phases. At the same time, layout configuration design and cable routing will be studied, after which detailed wind monitoring will be carried out.

HKE projects that the wind farm will be ready for operation in 2012, based on the lead time required for the design, engineering, procurement, delivery and construction.

The project will supplant an estimated use of 62,000 tonnes of coal every year.

The Lamma wind turbine.

Earlier this year, HKE launched Lamma Winds, an 800kW pilot project at Lamma Island to gain practical experience in operating a wind turbine.

To commemorate the commissioning of Lamma Winds, the Hongkong Electric Company established the “Hong Kong Electric Clean Energy Fund” to encourage initiatives in promoting better understanding and application of renewable energy in Hong Kong. The fund will provide up to HK$1 million (US$129,000) in sponsorship for study and development of renewable energy technologies/applications in the local education sector.



Adrian Akau

It looks as if Hong Kong may get its project going before the Nantucket, Massachusetts off shore wind turbine farm has even started although clearances in our country have been going on for several years and about 14 agencies have given approval. Non-thermal generated lectricity is critical for the people in Hong Kong for clean air and land is at a premium. It makes good sense to build off shore once all factors are taken into consideration.

I think that our country should keep a close watch on this project to see how it is handled so we also may have good off shore wind energy projects in the future.

[email protected]

allen Z

Although not a problem right now, what would happen to low level circulation of the atmosphere when large widespread windfarms become the norm in the developed/upper tier developing world?


man, that realtime link is great. you can actually see birds flying by and there was some small bug crawling on the camera's clear case...quite amusing.

Rafael Seidl

Note that while there are now 4.5MW wind turbines on the market, for locations with low average windspeeds smaller units are preferred despite the higher cost. Rotor diameter for these is ~100m, about the length of a football field.

What I find interesting is that the new HK airport apparently has no problems with the radar interference of the proposed offshore turbine park. The military in the UK and to a lesser extent, the US, keep complaining that this is a problem, but perhaps that only applies to the risk of low-flying attacking aircraft. In any case, it seems a lousy excuse for not deploying renewable electricity generation.

It would also be interesting to know if HK's electrcity grid is already integrated with mainland China's. If so, the unpredictability of wind power can be managed in conjunction with hydro power. Unfortunately, in terms of GHG emissions, the scale of the HK project is dwarfed by the number of coal-fired power stations that mainland China is adding to its grid.

shaun mann

1.6% of their total energy consumption coming from wind is definitely a big deal.

it'd put them ahead of the US.

allen Z

With the issue of radar interference, in the Atlantic off Long Island, NY and eastern NJ, there are several blocs of sea/airspace taht are used for military exercise often. There are exercises that may pertain to on the horizon or over the horizon detection of aircraft. At distance, an aircraft flying at 1,000 ft, 60 miles away, may be close to or under the horizon. This may be one of the reasons they do not want tall wind turbines there.
___On the other hand, in combat, conditions are never perfect. Adding clutter on the coastline may prove to be advantageous for the US military (Navy, Air Force, Marines) as they deal with a more cluttered/chaotic environment during peacetime/training exercises.
___On the other hand, the radar/infared signatures may pose a tempting target for a smart munition's guidance system if one should go haywire for some reason. Put it this way, if you are going to build thousands of copies of a weapon, a few are bound to be duds, or have malfunctions. What if one of these missiles should astray, and nail one of those wind turbines with the possibility damage to who may be civilians nearby? Oct. 4, 2001, Siberia Airlines Flight 1812 was shot down over the Black Sea via S-200 missile fired from Cape Chuluk shooting range in the Chrimea. The US does not want a Harpoon or SM-2 doing similar things.


I propose that the next coal fired plant for Massachusetts be installed in Nantucket or maybe Martha's Vineyard.

I live in a "pristine" area, too, probably a lot more pristine than Nantucket. But I would certainly not object to some wind turbines in my view. Global warming is more important than my view. People like Bobby Kennedy,Jr. who is resisting these wind generators, is the kind of person who gives environmentalists a bad name.


Windturbines have an average lifetime of 15-20 years. After this time they were recycled and we have surely better ideas to generate electricity.
To the argument:"1.6% of their total energy consumption coming from wind is definitely a big deal."
Well wind turbines generate electricity without the cooling losses (~ 60%) of a conventional power plant. So you can add about 3%. 4,6% for a single windpark is indeed "a big deal"!

Rafael Seidl

German -

you have a point when you state that it' not the installed electrical outout capacity that matters for environmental purposes, but the installed fossil fuel input capacity.

Renewables do make a bigger dent than they are given credit for. The snag is that unless there is something - preferably already amortized - in the system that can buffer power from e.g. windmills until it is needed, you end up having to construct backup fossil fuel plants (or run existing ones at lower utilization rates). That is why wind in particular is a relatively expensive proposition. Solar radiation, tides, even month-to-month rainfall are all more predictable.


Hi Rafael,
we are working on that. First to say is solar (PV) energy ist a complementary energy.
In June you have wind enegery ninimum but solar maximum.
In December wind max solar min.
But much more interesting are plugable hybrids which can give an electricity input (triggered by gsm) when needed, by battery or even by 70kw(prius) ICE. We in Germany have to plan for a free electricity market of renewables. And you have to guarantee your trades. Such Hybrids are a kind of "Speicherkraftwerk"( I don`t know the english word)

allen Z

If France is still going Nuke power, they should look at the Integral Fast Reactor. It was developed by the US, but shelved/killed due to politics. If it can be modified to run with Helium as a coolant, then we may have something. They would provide for base power loads, while solar and stored wind/tidal-hydro current energy would step in at peak with peak power plants. Inherent meltdownproof design would be preferable. Onsite reprocessing, IAEA monitoring, and heavy security would be necessary. Maybe a special military unit to guard from land, air and water threats, complete with SAMs and fortifications.
___In the PRC, if the funding could be shifted, coal plants should be converted to combined cycle plants. Later on, biomass could provide fuel for base loads, with solar/peak plants/stored wind for peak demand. And then there is the question of Hydro...


I saw a Brittish report that indicated that intermitancy was not a particularly big problem for wind as your installed base gets larger. The wind is always blowing somewhere and that your electricity production tends to average out.

Rafael Seidl

Neil -

you have a point. However, in that case you should only count as installed electrical capacity from wind turbines the fraction for which you are e.g. 90% confident of availability. This puts the discussion about hte meagre thermodynamic efficiency of the installed base of fossil-fuel fired power plants in some perspective. I'm not passing judgement here, just asking for an honest representation of what constitutes "installed capacity".

As for PHEVs to buffer the surplus energy, well, they can only do so while they are connected to the grid (typically at night). That's not the 24/7 buffering capability I had in mind, far from it. Perhaps the conservative assumption is that PHEVs would be regular household electricity consumers at off-peak times, thereby smoothing demand. You'd need a lot of them, though, for the effect to be noticeable throughout the grid. That's not going to happen unless battery energy density goes way up and price per kWh of storage capacity comes way down.


to buffer wind or solar energy, your car isn´t available only at night at home. Typically a(private) car is used about one or two hours a day. The other time it is parking near your working place or your shopping mall. No problem to connect it.
But we have two other important buffering options:
- realtime flexible prices for consuming electricity. So you can tell for example your air condition blackbox the max price for running.
- changing your home heating system from a simple heating system to an electricity generating and grid connected system like this: ecopower.de or more sophisticated: sunmachine.com



Has your country made it easier/cheaper for the average German citizen to install solar power?

Do you know the price per kilowatt?

I read often about new solar factories being built
because of the push towards solar/renewables.


Hi lotfw,
the secret in Germany is a very sophisticated law called "EEG" "Erneuerbare (renewables) Einspeise (Input to public grid) Gesetz (law).
The public grid has to buy all your PV or wind or biofuel generated electrictity with a fixed price guaranteed for 20 (twenty!) years.
Every year this price becomes cheaper for new installed micro power plants so the manufactures of wind generators and PV have to become cheaper too until they are comparable to conventional electricity.
The price in average guarantees always a capital return of 14 (wind) and 20 (PV) years. The party is so payed by all consumers of electricity. And its really a nice party :-)!
Here`s a link for you. German but you can translate it with babelfish:

Rafael Seidl

German -

"The other time it is parking near your working place or your shopping mall. No problem to connect it."

(a) Please show me *any* existing car park near an office building or a shopping mall where even a fraction of parking slots have an outlet for a dedicated electricty circuit! Presumably, you would also want the cable in the wall (cp. your vacuum cleaner) to avoid forcing EV owners to carry one in their cars. Anything mechanical that you give the general public access to tends to fairly quickly get damaged, necessitating replacement. Plus, underground car parks sometimes get flooded, ...

(b) EV owners still have to pay for the electricity when they're not charging at home, so their cars needs to identify themselves to the outlet management system of the car park, and a suitable method of non-repudiable micropayment arranged. The system has to prevent fraud by one EV owner commited by tricking the system into thinking that the vehicle in the next slot is being charged up, etc. These issues represent non-trivial commercial transaction overheads!

(c) EV owners will not both to plug their car in every time they park, even if an outlet is available. They will be too lazy to do it, unless they know they're going to need the extra range.

(d) Many battery chemistries (e.g. Li-ion) suffer accelerated aging if the battery is kept fully charged vs. eg. 40% charged, on average. Given the cost of the batteries, I doubt EV owners will want to be goody two shoes all the time for sake of better utilization of some utility company's wind turbine park.


Well rafael,
I don`t know the difficulties in the US to install an outlet in parking houses or shopping malls.
Here in Germany it wasn`t a problem and it`so cheap (3,5 kwh/hour citroen Saxo electrique) that nobody in shopping malls had the idea to install a micropayment system. That`s service or payed with the parking ticket. And even hackers have better chances to hack for money than this.
The identyfing of the cars runs per GSM number, the data is transferred by gprs.
The ten car (and PV) owners we have in our pool are very interested in plugging in their cars because they get cheaper home electricity if they do so and they will be much more interested if our research project comes to Leipzig EEX (electricity stock exchange).
Our town and even my university is interested in our research projekt because there are a lot of people who have jobs in the local wind industry.
Battery chemistry (in our case NiCad)isn`t the problem. Discharging by grid in our simulations runs only one times/month. It`s only a kind of insurance against weather prognostic mistakes. More difficult is, that we have till now no hybrids but EV-only so we can discharge only 3kwh/car. But that will change when we have the first DC Sprinter in our pool.

Thomas Pedersen

Rafael and German.

Rafael, you may be right that some of the issues are not trivial, but they are certainly solvable, as German hints to.

And let us get a perspective here; while we may desire EVs today (as in this very day, or at least tomorrow) because of high gas prices and environmental concerns, it will take years before a) there are enough EVs/PHEVs to justify electrical outlets everywhere, and b) renewable capacity is so high that it demands peak shaving by said vehicles.

Public parking garages may be a few years away, but your parking space at work is a good place to start. There you have a mutual trust going already. Just start by adding, say 10 outlets near the entrance, reserved for PHEV/EV drivers.

I know for a fact that many Finnish companies have electrical outlets in the employee parking lot for keeping the engines from freezing over during winter.

I don't think it matters whether every single EV driver bothers to plug in a every stop - that much capacity is not necessary. Enough will to make a difference, but that's my subjective opinion - let's not argue about subjective stuff.

The battery chemistry thing seems like a job for the computer controlled battery management system to figure out, certainly not the driver!

Let me just stress one more time that we have many years to learn how to do this before it become a vital part of our lives!

Another point I'd like to make: EVs plugged in during daytime is a perfect drain for solar energy, maybe even from solar panels mounted on the hood and rooftop.


installing PV on rooftops of cars ist not the best idea. Who is parking in full sun? And if you do so... You have a peak of lets say 200 Watts. My Citroen EV has a battery capacity of 15 kwh... PV is a stationary thing.
Maybe a better idea is to insulate your prius because he has an electric compressor for air condition. And thats about (I don`t know exactly) 1000 watts.
Over all the energy debate starts better with effiency, continues a long way with effiency and then we ask about sources. The whole famous german windenergy produces as much energy as electronic standby losses of ten major towns require for this cheap solutions. And there are much mor ugly losses...

Thomas Pedersen

Yes, you have a lot of wind turbines to put up in order to catch up with us Danish guys :-P

My car is parked outside all the time. But I mostly meant for people living in e.g. Arizona with outdoor parking at their place of business. I was also assuming polymer PVs that curve with the roof. If PVs are worth while in homes where the power has to be converted to AC, then they should definitely be worth while to charge a battery. By my crude calculations, PV on hood and roof could give as much as 8-15 km of driving in one day. Twice as much if left in the sun on the weekend... It is a way to get more range without an outlet to plug into. But, hey, let's leave it on the options list along with heated/cooled cupholders, built-in navigation, etc.

I fully agree with you on the efficiency aspect. The (liquid) energy problem should be attacked from both sides (supply and demand)!

As you hint to, a lot of the perceived technical problems are not technical at all but political (just as bad) or bureaucratic.

Btw, the whole problem of elastic demand, i.e. someone/something deciding whether a particular machine (e.g. an EV) should draw power or not is quite interesting. If, for instance, you program the same threshold into all EVs/deep freezers/water heaters/etc. you may end up with huge stability problems if all these apparatuses turn on and off at the same time..! But I'm sure there is a clever solution to that.

It sounds like you are doing some excellent work/research! Keep it up :-)


Hi Thomas,
without Tvind the wind wouldn`t have changed! My second car is an "Ellert" and my first windgenerator was a Micon 530 (still running since 1991)!
Keep on running again in Denmark ;-)!

Dave Ireland

Ireland has reched over 5% from wind power and they only built a few widmills
having the second most windiest slimate after south american argentian malvina islands or faulkland islands if your british persasion helps produce a lot of power
however nice and eco frendly touchy feely this is a simple severe hike in tax of electricty costs would have reduced consumpition as probably 20% of energy is wasted as electricty gas and oil are tooooo cheap but rising rapidly
Wind can only be part of a combined effort of carbon tax public transport wind wave solar tidal power along with renewables like wood pellets and methane recycle units
ireland is 95% dependent on outside energy sources and as such can reduce this rapidly in years with conservation could knock off 30% of demand and renewables 20% so ensureing a lesser shock to system if world resourse disruptions occor

Conservation is the single biggest reducer of demand and way exceeds any other methods like wind power

in low wind regions of the world the energy to make install and run windmills might exceed the energy obtained and so I suspect wind energy is a fasle becon for many energy solution providers outside of windy brish isles holland belguim norway and probably a complete waste of time for germany to copy or do

Bringing in a speed limit to the german autobannnn for cars to 60mph would probably reduce petrol consumption to30% of todays need as average cars get 6 litres to the 100 kilometres (30MPG )at 100kph (60 mph) and 20 litres per 1000 kilometres (7mpg) at 160kph (100mph)

but asking germans to drive that slow or get money to put preety useless wind mills on thier roof they opt for the windmills

I dont know the hong kong situation but I figure 2% return unless its part of some overall stratagy is just a good tourist attraction that will cut and dice peking ducks free of charge as they fly into mega slicers

Now I myself am as conserned as everybody on the energy global warming issues buut futile gestures from peicemeal not thought out policies are a waste of everybodies time when the best results to be gained are simple
CONSERVATION and that usualy only occors by introducing draconian fossile fuel tax and bumping up the tax annualy and when you squeezed every drop from that source then go do the expensive solutions like wind wave solar batteries car parks etc

I have personnaly reduced the fuel consumption in my car a small Japanse car with gentle acceleration reducing speeds to 45 to 50mph max 55mph and this doubled the MPG from 25 mpg to nearly 50mpg and journies are mayby 5 minutes extra per hour driving

factor in the future ireland makes its own fuel mayby 20% of its overall needs and now 70% saving can become a reality

Its doable for most every country to reduce fosssil fuel emmisions and dependense by 30 to 50% rapidly if they decide that is a stratigiic nessesaty and not nessarly suffer too much pain other than drive smaller cars and wear woolen jumpers while indoors in colder climates

Dave Ireland

John Lansdell

Are any battery electric cars now in production? I have driven an Ellert, and seen a number of converted Puegot or Citroen cars in France, but nothing else.

I had the ambition of converting a Messerschmitt Kabinenroller to battery power, but unfortunately have never done anything about it.

The comments to this entry are closed.