A green teen leads the way in solar energy

PUBLISHED : Monday, 12 September, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 12 September, 2011, 12:00am


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When it comes to urbanisation, Hong Kong is ahead of Nanning, the provincial capital of Guangxi. When it comes to energy saving, however, there is something we can learn from the city.

In recent years, many of Nanning's citizens have been using solar energy to operate their electric heaters. They place solar panels on the roofs of their houses or blocks of flats.

Young Post met Pan Zaide, 17, a Form Six student from Nanning No 28 Secondary School during his visit to Hong Kong as one of the winners of the CLP Young Power Programme last month.

The student explained that solar panels helped reduce the electricity bill and his family's carbon footprint.

'We paid for the solar panels ourselves,' said the teenager, who is captain of Guangxi's winning team.

'The management office of our buildings allows us to place the panels on the roof.

'Solar panels are very popular in our city.'

He noted that the device can generate enough electricity for his home's electric water heater.

The heater has been operating smoothly on solar energy.

The solar device can also store energy for rainy days so the heater can be powered even when the sun isn't out.

Yet there are some drawbacks, Zaide said. In tall buildings with many flats, there just isn't enough space on the roof for each family to install its own solar panels.

That could make the idea less feasible on a mass scale in a city like Hong Kong.