An environmental analysis of electricity consumption in built environments

T. M. Lai, W. M. To, Wai Chau Edward Lo, H. K. Lam

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Electricity is considered as an inseparable part of our modern life. In built environments, the demands for electricity are much greater and more intense. In 2008, electricity consumption amounted to 5,856 kWh per capita in Hong Kong and the electricity productivity of Hong Kong was US$5.27 GDP per kWh, a very high level in the world. However, high productivity comes at a cost - poor perceived environmental quality. This study examines the environmental impacts of electricity consumption in Hong Kong, using greenhouse gases as a basis for impact analysis. Since Hong Kong imports some percentage of electricity from a nuclear power plant in a nearby area, the imported electricity causes an illusion of low emission per unit of electricity consumed and transfers hidden environmental burdens from the electricity consumption destination (Hong Kong) to the electricity generation region (Shenzhen). However, Hong Kong will also be adversely affected by those hidden burdens because of the proximity effect in long run. Moreover, we estimate the extent of the environmental impacts from a global perspective. In realizing that Hong Kong imports fuels from overseas and emissions along fuel life cycles have yet to be taken into account, we suggest that pollution indices from utilities companies and government departments need be adjusted accordingly.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThermodynamics
PublisherAabo Akademi University
Pages365-372
Number of pages8
Volume1
ISBN (Print)9781456303006
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010
Event23rd International Conference on Efficiency, Cost, Optimization, Simulation, and Environmental Impact of Energy Systems, ECOS 2010 - Lausanne, Switzerland
Duration: 14 Jun 201017 Jun 2010

Conference

Conference23rd International Conference on Efficiency, Cost, Optimization, Simulation, and Environmental Impact of Energy Systems, ECOS 2010
Country/TerritorySwitzerland
CityLausanne
Period14/06/1017/06/10

Keywords

  • Electricity generation & consumption
  • Greenhouse gases emission
  • Life cycle approach

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)

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