Understanding Renewable Energy in Kenya


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Presentation at the annual fundraising dinner of the Rotaract of Milimani in Nairobi. Proceeds from this dinner will go towards installing a biogas plant at a Childrens Home in one of the Nairobi slums. Totally humbled by the commitment of these young professionals,and sharing with them my insights tonight!

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  • Ladies and gentlemen, I would first say, that this being the romantic month of the year, that I am following in love with the Rotaracters! This is my second invitation to your events, and I must say I am honoured. First, I was talking to the rotaracters of Nairobi central, it was such a cool group, and the same hospitality I have received from you tonight just proofed this- I need to join rotaract NOW! Thank you for the invitation. You would be interested to know I have to be invited; apparently, it was through Face book by one of you. As a social media junky, I must commend you for making proper use of Face book to share with the world what you have been doing I would like to make a clarification that I am not an expert in Renewable Energy- I am just in love with Nature, and all that it gives to us. So tonight, I have been invited to talk about the following things, and I hope will cover them to the best of my capacity:-
  • Earlier evaluations in Kenya, show that a high proportion of digesters appear to operate below capacity, are dormant, or in disuse after construction due to:- management, technical and social cultural & economic problems.
  • Understanding Renewable Energy in Kenya

    1. 1. SUSTAINABLE LIFESTYLES:- Renewable Energy in Kenya Rotaract Club of Milimani Annual Charity Dinner- 25 th February 2011 Grace Mwaura African Youth Initiative on Climate Change (AYICC Special Advisor ) & International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN Council Member)
    2. 2. Outline <ul><li>Economic opportunities in adoption of green sources of Energy. </li></ul><ul><li>Challenges being met in implementation of adoption of green sources of energy </li></ul><ul><li>Gains made so far in sensitizing adoption of renewable energy. </li></ul><ul><li>The future for green sources of energy </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Environmental Conservation, </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Green/Renewable Energy, </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Carbon Credits, </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Alternative Sources of Energy etc </li></ul></ul></ul>
    3. 3. Introduction <ul><li>1.5 Billion of world’s people have no access to electricity at all. </li></ul><ul><li>Globally, 3 Billion rely on traditional biomass or coal burning cook stoves for cooking. They are also the most green house- intensive fuel systems in the world, with a significant global warming effect. These two forms of energy are responsible for more health problems than any other category of energy use. Deaths from indoor smoke causes 1.4 million deaths every year. </li></ul><ul><li>Energy poverty is critically undermining the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs )- As long as hundreds of millions of people remain deprived of the basic energy, services needed to stay fed and healthy, earn a living, and allow the time needed for learning and fulfilment, the MDGs will remain out of reach. Those in energy poverty are also in the poverty index, their voices and experiences are never heard. </li></ul>
    4. 4. Energy use in Kenya <ul><li>Biomass (anything plant material or animal waste used as fuel )- 68% </li></ul><ul><li>Fossil fuels ( fuel consisting of the remains of organisms preserved in rocks in the earth's crust with high carbon and hydrogen content) - 22% </li></ul><ul><li>Electricity ( the flow of electrical power or charge. It is both a basic part of nature) - 9% </li></ul><ul><li>Solar & Wind- energy less than 1% each </li></ul><ul><li>All of these are at different levels of exploitation . Biogas is however, a multifunctional biomass energy source that has been under utilized in Kenya. </li></ul><ul><li>Only 15% of Kenyans have access to electricity . The scattered nature of most settlement escalated the distributing cost and reduces the accessibility. </li></ul><ul><li>Traditional rural households don’t put a value on the wood fuel, until 2 decades ago when some of us started to pay for fuel wood, had to walk very long distances to fetch for the priceless firewood. </li></ul><ul><li>The lack of value lead to unsustainable use, over dependence on the free common resource for all, eventually to environmental degradation, deforestation and poor health (due to indoor pollution). </li></ul>
    5. 5. 1. Economic opportunities in adoption of green sources of Energy. <ul><li>BIOGAS ENERGY </li></ul><ul><li>Wind Energy </li></ul><ul><li>Electricity </li></ul><ul><li>Solar Energy </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Environmental Conservation, </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Green/Renewable Energy, </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Carbon Credits, </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Alternative Sources of Energy </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    6. 6. BIOGAS ENERGY <ul><li>What is biogas? </li></ul><ul><li>A gas produced by the biological breakdown of organic matter (biomass) in the absence of oxygen. Consists of Methane (50- 75%); Carbon dioxide (25-50%); Nitrogen (0-10%) and hydrogen (0-1%). </li></ul><ul><li>What Is a domestic biogas plant? </li></ul><ul><li>It digests biomass into biogas and slurry, the fermented manure. This technology is feasible for small holders with livestock producing 50 kg manure per day, an equivalent of about 6 pigs or 3 cows. This manure has to be collectable to mix it with water and fed it into the plant. Toilets can be connected also. </li></ul>
    7. 7. Why Biogas? <ul><li>saving fossil fuels (reducing pollution & climate change), </li></ul><ul><li>saving time collecting firewood(Gender & Energy nexus), </li></ul><ul><li>protecting forests (Environmental conservation), </li></ul><ul><li>using crop residues for animal fodder instead of fuel (improved agricultural productivity), </li></ul><ul><li>saving money (improved livelihoods), </li></ul><ul><li>saving cooking time (and cooking nutritious meals), </li></ul><ul><li>improving hygienic conditions (sanitation & reduced world diseases) , </li></ul><ul><li>producing high-quality fertilizer (improved agricultural productivity), </li></ul><ul><li>enabling local mechanization and electricity production , </li></ul><ul><li>improving the rural standard of living (transforming livelihoods), and </li></ul><ul><li>reducing air and water pollution (transforming landscapes) </li></ul><ul><li>Climate Change </li></ul>
    8. 8. Climate change context <ul><li>In indoor environments ‘black carbon’ – commonly referred to as soot -arises largely from cooking with biomass such as wood, dung and crop residues. Outdoors, it is due to fossil fuel combustion and open biomass burning (associated with deforestation and crop residue burning). The aerosols absorb and scatter solar radiation and so contribute to climate change. However, once emissions of black carbon are halted, its warming effects cease within a few days. Its short lifetime in the atmosphere means it contributes to climate change in a different way to carbon dioxide. Cutting black carbon would provide a once-only correction to global warming, since it does not accumulate or persist, but the reduction would be substantial. The combustion of biomass and other solid fuels in the household is a complex science, and although the effects are not yet certain, it is believed to create around 23% of all global emissions of black carbon. </li></ul>
    9. 9. Renewable energy & MDGs <ul><li>MDG 1: improved cook stoves- reduce fuel use, indoor air pollution - reduce poverty through cost savings - reduce wood collection time, which can be put to more productive uses. </li></ul><ul><li>MDG 2: Where children, particularly girls, who don’t need to gather fuel for longer </li></ul><ul><li>MDG 4: Cleaner cooking fuels and technologies are linked to improved life expectancy for infants. </li></ul><ul><li>MDGs 3 and 5: Improved quality of life for women, through improved health and less drudgery. </li></ul><ul><li>MDG 6: Indoor smoke from cook stoves and fires is a major risk factor in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, acute lower respiratory infections and is implicated in some cancers and cardiovascular disease. Reducing indoor air pollution will have a positive impact by reducing causes of ill-health </li></ul><ul><li>MDG 7: From the perspective of those living in poverty, the environmental gains of reduced biomass may enable them to benefit from both a cleaner cooking environment and carbon finance for the up-front costs of buying cleaner technologies. </li></ul>
    10. 10. 2. Challenges being met in implementation of adoption of green sources of energy <ul><li>High cost of installation </li></ul><ul><li>Systems failure </li></ul><ul><li>Inadequate or lack of post installation support to users </li></ul><ul><li>Poor management and maintenance </li></ul><ul><li>Inadequate or lack of technology awareness </li></ul><ul><li>Scarce and fragmented promotional activity. </li></ul><ul><li>Standards </li></ul><ul><li>Acceptance problem- poor ownership/responsibility </li></ul>
    11. 11. The Energy policy context in Kenya <ul><li>1987- a search for alternative to domestic energy sources to replace fuel wood. </li></ul><ul><li>1990 there- development for a new energy sector strategy based on prudent integrated policies consistent with broader government policies on social economic development </li></ul><ul><li>Session paper no. 4 of 2004 on encourages private sector to venture into clean & renewable energy </li></ul><ul><li>Energy Act of 2006, provides for promotion of renewable energy which includes Biogas </li></ul><ul><li>2008- the government released feed-in- tariffs for wind, biomass, & small hydro resources generated electricity </li></ul><ul><li>Standards:- Private biogas companies have formed The Biogas Installers Network, and which intend to work with the Ministry of Trade and KEBS to develop standards and ensure members’ operations conform to these standards. </li></ul>
    12. 12. 3. Successes in sensitizing & adoption of renewable energy <ul><li>Ministry of Energy is a key player, and has been working with the private sector in various small scale renewable energy projects. </li></ul><ul><li>Ministry of Agriculture and GTZ (Private Sector Development in Agriculture) PSDA have been key players in improved cook stoves, and biogas for small scale farmers across the country. </li></ul><ul><li>Practical Action , a global leader in delivering modern energy for people in the developing world, is proposing the concept of ‘total energy access’– the minimum standard of energy access that needs to be in place for essentials such as cooking, lighting, healthcare, livelihoods and education. They propose an ecosystem of government, civil society and private organisations working together towards creation of universal energy access by 2030. </li></ul><ul><li>RETAP – Renewable Energy Technology Assistance Programme- which promotes use of Energy Saving Cook-stoves for institutions and SME’s – supported by UNDP & WFP </li></ul>
    13. 13. Cont’d <ul><li>The Renewable Energy Enterprises Network (REEN) was just founded originally to serve as a network of youth groups across Kenya that promote the sustainable diffusion of renewable energy technologies. </li></ul><ul><li>Evans Wadongo ,a youth, whose idea of recycled solar panel made him a nominee to the CNN hero. </li></ul><ul><li>SNV Kenya through the Kenya National Domestic Biogas programme supports installation and training on biogas plants </li></ul><ul><li>Kibera Community Youth Programme- Over years has assembled and sold solar products- radios, panels, torches- Obama’s house, & schools </li></ul><ul><li>Ruiru Youth Community Empowerment Programme- mainly focuses on improved stoves and small holder biogas plants as an enterprise for the rural youth, but targeting rural women. </li></ul><ul><li>Kijabe Environment Volunteers- A community based organization focuses on biogas and improved cook stoves </li></ul><ul><li>Tembea Youth Centre for Sustainable development- is actually implementing a carbon offset project for efficient cook stoves for Siaya communities certified under the Gold Standards Foundation </li></ul>
    14. 14. Carbon financing <ul><li>The Clean Development Mechanisms concept allowed developing countries to propose projects that would support their development and allow the market to determine those that would deliver proven emission reductions. Even though it has great potential to contribute to sustainable development, emission reduction credits have rarely been used for household energy due to the relatively high transaction cost per unit of emission reduction. A relatively small number of voluntary market projects in the household energy sector have been successfully developed </li></ul>
    15. 15. Opportunities for a green energy future <ul><li>Increased awareness and confidence in renewable energy options </li></ul><ul><li>Biting wood fuel scarcity in Kenya due to the conservation legislation </li></ul><ul><li>Increasing awareness on indoor pollution </li></ul><ul><li>Economic growth being felt at the grassroots </li></ul><ul><li>Better marketing of renewable energy </li></ul><ul><li>Financing mechanisms such as microfinance, micro-franchising, fee-for-service and carbon finance can bring benefits to the users. Should be household small scale projects, with greatest impact on livelihoods and well targeted to support market creation. </li></ul>
    16. 16. It all starts here !
    17. 17. Useful links <ul><li>http://www.tembeayouth.org/contact_us.php </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.gtzpsda.co.ke/ </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.snvworld.org/en/countries/kenya/aboutus/news/Pages/NewsPage1006002.aspx </li></ul><ul><li>http://www.practicalaction.org/energy-advocacy/ppeo-report-poor-peoples-energy-outlook </li></ul>