More application scenarios sought for HK green startups

Liu Yifan

More application scenarios sought for HK green startups

The top priority for the development of Hong Kong’s green economy is for the government of the special administrative region to create more application scenarios for sustainability-themed business, particularly in the transportation and construction sectors, said Ma Jun, chairman of the Hong Kong Green Finance Association.

“Creating more application scenarios for green technology overrides other elements including capital, technology, and talent,” Ma said in an interview on Monday during the Hong Kong GreenTech Summit.

While market forces can naturally drive the evolution of scenarios, the process is normally slow and the result is fragmented as it may not necessarily support local green tech businesses, Ma said, adding that those who have demands might opt to purchase readily available, but potentially outdated, products for their green renovations.

“In this regard, rising demands should be guided by the government to tilt towards local green tech companies to lay a foundation for the ecosystem,” Ma said.

Business opportunities brought by low-carbon transformation are enormous. The financial pundit estimates that Hong Kong’s local decarbonization market opportunities could reach HK$5 trillion ($639.16 billion) under the city’s current climate ambition. Nevertheless, around half of the core carbon neutrality technologies have yet to mature and commercialize.

Take the construction industry as an example. According to Ma, Hong Kong has 40,000 buildings that need to achieve zero carbon emissions by 2050.

There are numerous green technologies related to buildings, such as rooftop photovoltaics, new types of building materials, and coatings that reflect ultraviolet light, among others. A key consideration for officials would be how these innovative applications can be implemented and facilitated by the local scenarios that the city creates itself.

“For instance, if the government announces a plan to transform 100 government buildings into zero carbon structures at a specific stage, it immediately creates demand,” he said. “Then, these demands can be specifically used to nurture and incubate local green tech businesses.”