Hong Kong relaxes in the cool shade of a big tree amid global heat waves
The saying that Hong Kong is a blessed land once again proves true amid the global heat waves, which become the hottest topic of conversation these days. Many a place in the world has recorded the hottest-ever temperature. Everyday there are such news reports as wildfires have been triggered by the heat waves, a runway in some airport has melted, or some people have passed away due to hot temperature. Hong Kong also ushers in an extremely hot summer. Having just experienced the hottest-ever Great Heat, Hong Kong's urban area recorded a record-breaking temperature of 36.1 degrees Celsius yesterday. Despite the abnormal weather, citizens' everyday life and work on the whole are not affected thanks to the stable power supply in the city. As a matter of fact, this is the most intuitive manifestation of the reality that our Motherland is always Hong Kong's strong backing.
Hong Kong in the summertime could well be called an "air-conditioned city". One can enjoy the coolness as long as one stays indoors, no matter how it is "burning hot" elsewhere in the world. In some places the air conditioners run so powerfully that one has to put on a coat to keep warm. It is cool indoors while it is unbearably hot outside. What a sharp contrast! In some other regions, due to insufficient power supply, electricity rationing has to be imposed or electricity supply even has to be suspended for a few hours each day. By comparison, living in Hong Kong is truly fortunate.
Relaxing in the air-conditioned coolness is something people often take for granted. Yet it is not so simple behind the scene. Air-conditioning is powered by electricity. Hong Kong maintains a diversified fuel mix for electricity generation. Right now half of our electricity generation is fueled by natural gas, and the other half mainly by nuclear energy and coal including a small percentage by renewable energies such as local solar or wind energy. Electricity generation in Hong Kong fueled either by nuclear energy or natural gas cannot do without our country's firm support. In 1979, the power grid of Hong Kong's electricity companies was linked to Guangdong's grid, and the two places began cooperation in power supply. Eighty per cent of the electricity generated by Guangdong Daya Bay Nuclear Power Station is supplied to Hong Kong through China Southern Power Grid's 11 high-voltage electrical cables. Services are also provided such as peak load and frequency regulation and contingency response. In each of the past 28 consecutive years, electricity supplied to Hong Kong by the Daya Bay Nuclear Power amounts to 10 billion kilowatt hours (kWh), so much so that the accumulated electricity supplied to Hong Kong totals 300 billion kWh accounting for a quarter of Hong Kong's power consumption.
In view of natural gas fueled power generation, Hong Kong's cooperation with the Mainland is mainly in three respects. One is that Hong Kong's two power companies have taken stakes in Guangdong Dapeng Liquefied Natural Gas (GDLNG) terminal, which imports Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) from Australia each year. The imported LNG is mainly used for power generation and Hong Kong is one of the major clients with the Tai Po Gas Production Plant receiving natural gas from Shenzhen's Dapeng Bay. The second is that Hong Kong's power companies buy LNG from Hainan's Yacheng, and the LNG import in this regard once accounted for a quarter of the SAR's total power generation. The third is that Mainland companies such as the Sinopec Group and PetroChina Company provide retail sales of petroleum products and natural gas.
In order to supply Hong Kong with clean, highly-efficient and stable energy, Guangdong keeps enhancing relevant infrastructure construction. This not only injects a strong driving power into Hong Kong for its development but also reduces the city's carbon dioxide emission. As planned, during the national 14th Five-Year Plan period, Guangdong and Hong Kong will further strengthen linkage and connection of each other's infrastructure facilities, kick off the construction of the 500-kilowatt Huanggang power transmission and transformation project and complete upgrading and renovating four high-voltage cables and the Shenzhen Electrical Substation. By then, the Mainland's maximum capacity of power supply to Hong Kong will increase 60 per cent from the current 1.7 million kilowatts with the contingency response capacity reaching up to 2.7 million kilowatts. This is meant that the Mainland can guarantee stable power supply to Hong Kong no matter how abnormal the weather will become in future.
Some people may argue that Hong Kong pays money to buy the electricity so this is just a fair deal. But, be that as it may, energy is a strategic resource, not something that could be easily bought by money. Otherwise, the rich Europe and United States could not possibly have encountered any energy crisis, let alone suffered terribly in high-temperature or severe-cold weather. It is by no means easy for Hong Kong, as a city, to grab energy in the international market. Hong Kong's sufficient energy supply comes from the Central Government's care and the 1.4 billion Mainland compatriots' support. Even when the Mainland faced power shortages during peak times and Guangdong had also to impose electricity rationing, electricity supply to Hong Kong was not affected.
From [supplies of] fresh water, foodstuff to energy, from guarding against an international financial crisis to fighting the Covid-19 virus, Hong Kong's development cannot do without the Motherland's support and the Central Government's care. Hong Kong is "blessed" which in reality means it is sheltered under a big tree. Hong Kong citizens especially the young people, being well blessed, should appreciate and cherish the blessing, and turn it into a driving force to seize opportunities, strive to make progress and make their dreams come true.
25 July 2022