SDG7 Affordable and Clean Energy
HKU works to promote modern, efficient, and renewable energy through a variety of teaching and research initiatives and operational projects. The Master of Science in Engineering (Energy Engineering) explores technologies that help improve energy efficiency and reduce energy use, and to find sustainable energy sources as alternatives to fossil fuels. The Sustainable energy and environment course offered by the Department of Physics and the Common Core course Energy: Its Evolution and Environmental Impacts help students understand the significance and science of renewable energy, from a natural and social science perspective. In 2018, HKU-Cambridge Clean Energy and Environment Research Platform (CEERP) published a study on the environmental injustice of air pollution in Hong Kong that shows lower-income and less educated members of society are exposed to more PM2.5 based on where they live. This research hopes to push policymakers to promote less-polluting energy sources both on the roadside and at power stations.
Teaching & Research
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Working with Blue Sky Energy Technology, the Smart Living, Smart Generation programme was expanded to all floors of all 4 residential colleges in JCSVIII in 2018 to further promote data-driven energy reduction solutions. As a result, an energy reduction of 14% was recorded between September 2018 and May 2019. To achieve this, the Sustainability Office and a team of student residents spearheaded an intercollegiate energy competition, data workshops, and a sustainability festival. Residents also have access to an app and web account with reminder messages of their energy usage to encourage them to cut back. This project received a gold award at the HSBC Living Business SDG Awards Ceremony in 2019.
The Estates Office has been working on two new projects that aim for BEAM Plus certification, a Hong Kong initiative to assess building sustainability performance and efficiency. The first project, the sub-division of flats of Block 1 in Pine Court was finished in 2017 and includes features such as photovoltaic panels and LED lighting to increase the use of renewables and improve energy performance. The ongoing second project, the new annexe of the medical complex extension at No. 21 Sassoon Road, will also include photovoltaic panels as well as high-performance air-conditioning and lighting systems, and passive design to increase efficiency.