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Fighting climate change together

December 18, 2016

Role model

Role model:  Sing Yin Secondary School has an automatic weather station beaming real time meteorological data to classrooms so students can decide whether air-conditioning is needed.

Renewable energy

Renewable energy:  Wind turbines convert wind energy into electricity for use in the school.

Environmental studies

Environmental studies:  The school’s principal, teachers and students work together to promote environmental protection.

Solar scene

Solar scene:  The solar farm at the Siu Ho Wan Sewage Treatment Works is the largest of its kind in Hong Kong.

Sustainable development

Sustainable development:  Senior Electrical & Mechanical Engineer Regina Wong says the Drainage Services Department is looking to adopt renewable energy in its future projects.

The impact of climate change is fast being felt across the globe.

 

The Government attaches great importance to combatting this alarming phenomenon and formed the Steering Committee on Climate Change in 2016.

 

However, it says community support is also crucial.

 

To promote environmental education, the Government encourages schools to participate in and organise educational activities on climate change and a green lifestyle.

 

Introducing energy-saving facilities in schools is an important step.

 

Sing Yin Secondary School is among the Hong Kong organisations hoping to make a change.

 

Its new campus opened in 2011, introducing innovative green features.

 

Solar panels and wind turbines are located on rooftops and can convert solar and wind energy into electricity for use in the school.

 

An automatic weather station beams real time temperature, relative humidity and wind speed readings to classrooms so students can decide whether or not air-conditioning is needed.

 

All classrooms have light sensors which adjust indoor lighting according to outdoor conditions and motion sensors which automatically switch off lights and air-conditioning when they are unneeded.

 

Even the elevators are capable of generating electricity. When they are in use, they can convert potential energy into electricity.

 

Home to a host of energy-saving devices and renewable energy technologies, the campus is designed to cut electricity consumption by 30%.

 

Environmental education

The school is also committed to promoting green education.

 

Environmental prefects and monitors lead visitors on tours of the school’s green features, conduct food waste reduction and recovery, and monitor energy-saving operations.

 

Principal Wong Chi-keung said as the first environmental demonstration school in Hong Kong, students not only learn about environmental protection concepts, they also raise awareness among their family and friends.

 

"We are engaged in education. On top of saving energy, what’s more important is to give students an environmental protection message. As teenagers are the future of society, the more they support environmental protection, the better it is for the entire natural environment."

 

School teacher Lok Yuen-kwan added that in addition to comprehensive energy-saving hardware, students partake in a series of activities to put what they have learned into practise.

 

Sing Ying Secondary School was named “Greenest School on Earth 2013” by the US Green Building Council for its efficient use of resources and reduced environmental impact.

 

Solar solution

Besides the Education Bureau, other government agencies are also coming up with initiatives to tackle climate change.

 

The Drainage Services Department’s new solar farm at the Siu Ho Wan Sewage Treatment Works is an example.

 

The $27 million project is the largest of its kind in Hong Kong, featuring more than 4,200 solar panels.

 

It can generate up to 1.1 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, which is equivalent to the reduction of about 770 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

 

The electricity can power various facilities inside the plant, including screening facilities, a workshop, an administration building, an ultraviolet disinfection system and sludge treatment facilities.

 

They account for a quarter of the plant's annual electricity consumption, equivalent to that of 230 families.

 

Senior Electrical & Mechanical Engineer Regina Wong said the department is looking to adopt renewable energy in its future projects.

 

"We emphasise sustainable development. We hope to raise the public’s awareness of renewable energy through this solar farm."

 

The Government is formulating Hong Kong’s developmental direction based on principles of sustainability, saving energy and reducing waste.

 

It is investing in initiatives which balance development and environmental conservation, while improving the quality of living.



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