Gaming industry produced more than 62 pct of all greenhouse emissions in Macau – Study

Macau (MNA) – A study indicated that the gaming industry has the greater attribution of implicit greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Macau, with clean energy usage in the sector to be a key point in reducing building emissions in the city.

Carbon emissions are considered the greatest contributor to climate change and global warming, with the study having performed scenario analysis for the lifecycle GHG emissions from Macau urban buildings during 1999–2016.

Results showed that building GHG emissions grew from 1.52 metric tons per capita of equivalent carbon dioxide (Co2e) in 1999 to 5.91 metric tonnes in 2016, with an average annual growth of about 10.33 per cent.

Although residential buildings are indicated as the major source of GHG in the world, the study showed that case of Macau is unique, since gaming industry buildings change the energy consumption structure in the city.

GHG emissions from the gaming industry surpasses that of residential and commercial buildings in 2005, and produced 62.46 per cent of all GHG emissions in 2016.

Evolution of GHG contributions from gaming, commercial and residential buildings in Macau

‘The GHG emissions of energy consumption in gaming industry buildings increased from 354.64 kilo tons (Kt) of CO2e in 1999 to 2,722.32 Kt in 2016. The GHG emissions of electricity consumption are still the largest contributor, accounting for 99 per cent of the total,’ the study stated.

The study also showed that GHG emissions per unit area of non-resident buildings (including the commercial and gaming industry buildings) in Macau increased rapidly after 2004, from 3,316.37 kg of CO2 per square meter in 2016, to ‘about 51 times of that in residential buildings’.

It even stated that when compared to Shanghai and Beijing the GHG emissions of non-resident buildings in Macau were ‘much higher’, with the study naming the use of air conditioners as the most probable reason for this.

‘According to our survey and statistical data, the average temperature of commercial buildings in Macau is 23.28℃, and the gaming industry buildings’ temperatures are even lower than 20℃ over an average 24 hour period,’ one of the study researchers stated.

Therefore the study considered that a structural adjustment in energy use and an improvement in the efficiency of energy use in non-resident buildings have become the main focus for GHG emission reduction from urban buildings in the use phase.

‘All these results indicate that there are still much room for improvement in building’s energy efficiency and their reduction in Macau,’ the report noted.

However, the study warned the government does not adopt regulatory policies or strengthen existing energy-saving policies, the study estimates that buildings GHG emissions will grow rigidly from 2016 to 2030.

Analysts assumed that the worst baseline scenario of the GHG emissions of buildings in the city would be an annual growth rate of 3.97, with the ideal scenario being a 30.76 per cent decrease when compared with the baseline scenario.

Build, build, build

The use phase of buildings was also said to contribute to most GHG emissions during the whole life stage of a building, accounting for 65.75 per cent of the total GHG emissions, with the construction phase contributing 33.72 per cent.

The level of building materials’ consumption was said to have also increased ‘quickly’ being approximately 10 times higher in 2015 than that in 1999, and with GHG emissions of material consumption from the construction industry going from from 460.46 kilotons (Kt) of CO2e in 1999 to 2169.33 Kt in 2016.

Steel has replaced cement become the largest source of GHG emissions since 2003, with steel use contributing to 54.48 per cent of the total GHG emissions during the 1999–2016 period, followed by cement with 34.60 per cent.

Energy consumption from the from buildings’ construction phase was said to have peaked in 2008/2009, when a large amount of gaming projects construction were ongoing in the city.

The study was published in the  journal of Resources, Conservation and Recycling, with two co-authors from Macau Environmental Research Institute of Macau University of Science and Technology (MUST),Qingbin Song Shujie Zhao.

The study was also developed by a Professor from College of Civil Engineering, Shenzhen University, Huabo Duan; and by a Professor from Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory on Functional Soft Condensed Matter, School of Materials and Energy, Guangdong University of Technology.

*With Jane Wong