Greater Cross-Border Integration and Higher Mobility of Talents in the Greater Bay Area (GBA): Collaborative Efforts towards Carbon Neutrality (By EL Division)
2024-03-19

 

We have witnessed successful collaborations in numerous engineering projects in the Greater Bay Area (GBA), such as the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, High-Speed Rail, and the joint development of renewable energy projects. Cross-border integration not only drives knowledge exchange but also directly or indirectly benefits the lives and well-being of every citizen.

The contributions of electrical engineers to these cross-border projects are significant. They include the design and implementation of advanced electrical systems for the Bridge, the traction power supply for High-Speed Rail, and the advanced protection systems for wind farms.

With increased cross-border integration, electrical engineers are presented with unique opportunities and challenges.

 

Seize the Opportunities


Diversified Engineering Projects

According to the Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area issued in February 2019, the goal has been set for the GBA to become an international first-class bay area for living, working and travelling by 2035. The development plan is driving a wide range of engineering projects, including smart city solutions, advanced transportation systems, and ultra-high voltage (UHV) power transmission. Engaging in diverse projects allows electrical engineers to gain exposure to cutting-edge technologies and innovative solutions, which, in turn, can broaden our skill set, enrich our industry knowledge, and enhance our professional development.


Electricity Trading

The first batch of cross-boundary Green Electricity Certificates (GEC) between the Mainland, Hong Kong and Macao were traded via the Guangzhou Power Exchange (GPE), involving a total of 14.2 million kiloWatt-hours (kWh) of electricity by December 2023. Established in 2016, the GPE is one of the prominent platforms for electricity trading. Aiming at facilitating an efficient and transparent electricity market, the GPE ensures a level playing field and compliance with market regulations. Meanwhile, GEC serve as a form of “electronic identification” for electricity generation using renewable energy sources. Electrical engineers can implement efficient energy dispatch, real-time monitoring, and demand response. Engineers with expertise in power system modelling, optimisation algorithms, and data analytics can play a crucial role in developing innovative solutions to improve transparency, reliability, and flexibility of the electricity market.


Green Transition Initiatives

The GBA is committed to transitioning towards a greener future, and the HKSAR Government has set a target to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. The efforts to reduce carbon emissions create a significant demand for electrical engineers to contribute their expertise in developing clean energy solutions and sustainable infrastructure projects. For instance, the establishment of offshore wind farms in the GBA necessitates the participation of electrical engineers in the design and optimisation of efficient power generation and transmission systems, ultimately aiding the region in achieving its carbon reduction objectives.

 

Embrace the Challenges


Regulatory Framework for Construction Activities

Navigating the distinct regulatory frameworks between Hong Kong and the Mainland can pose a challenge for engineers. For example, in the Mainland, the primary regulatory authority responsible for engineering projects is the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development (MOHURD) and its local counterparts. MOHURD establishes standards and regulations for construction and engineering projects. In Hong Kong, regulatory requirements related to construction sites are specified in Hong Kong legislation. The codes of practice maintained by various government departments also clarify statutory control. In addition to regulatory compliance, it is essential for electrical engineers to stay updated with the latest policies and development plans to ensure that engineering projects align with the region's sustainability goals.


Professional Registration

In the Mainland, electrical engineers typically need to pass the National Professional Qualification Examination for Electrical Engineers to be eligible for registration. In Hong Kong, a 2-year Scheme-A Graduate Training Programme accredited by the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers (HKIE) is provided for electrical engineering students with a recognised undergraduate degree, preparing them for professional registration. Recently, the HKIE has been making efforts to enhance the Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) with Mainland engineering societies. This aims to encourage talent mobility and strengthen technical exchange between electrical engineers in the Mainland and Hong Kong.


Intense Competition

The integration of talent pools within the Greater Bay Area (GBA) suggests that engineers may encounter increased competition. Professionals from the GBA and other parts of the Mainland contribute to a diverse and highly skilled talent pool. Furthermore, the region's expanding opportunities also appeal to international candidates. To stay competitive, we must continuously update our skill sets, embrace lifelong learning, and distinguish ourselves through specialised knowledge and experience.


Working together, a group of people can achieve more than an individual. We should remain open-minded, enhance team collaboration, and embrace opportunities. By exploring the potential and obstacles that electrical engineers may encounter in career pursuits, we can identify our unique strengths and areas of expertise to power a sustainable future through collaborative efforts.

 

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