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Anne Njoroge

Kenya launches 2050 calculator to advance climate change mitigation in East Africa.

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Kenya’s Ministry of Energy, the British High Commission Nairobi, and Strathmore University have jointly launched the Kenya Carbon Emission Reduction Tool (KCERT 2050), a bespoke energy and emissions model to assist Kenya in achieving its climate goals.

 

The interactive energy model – the first in East Africa – was delivered under the UK Government’s international 2050 Calculator programme, which is funded by the UK’s International Climate Finance, and led by global engineering, management and development consultancy Mott MacDonald, and a consortium which includes Imperial College London, Climact and Ricardo.

 

KCERT 2050 allows users to trial options for reducing climate change-inducing carbon emissions at a faster rate and to build a pathway that meets long-term emission targets to 2050 and beyond. It can be used to support policy-making to allow governments to increase national action on climate change and strengthen ambition in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement.

 

KCERT 2050 will play a key role in helping policy-makers, energy producers and consumers, including the public, in Kenya to understand the energy and emissions related choices they are making.  It also provides a platform for engaging in dialogues on the challenges and opportunities of the future energy system and the responses to climate change. The project gives Kenya the opportunity to pioneer climate mitigation approaches across the East African region.

 

H.E Jane Marriott British High Commissioner to Kenya said: “As part of strengthening our UK-Kenya Strategic Partnership on climate action, the British High Commission welcomes the launch of the Kenya Carbon Emissions Reduction Tool 2050. This tool, which is a first in East Africa, will support government departments in Kenya to design and deliver evidence based, inclusive policies on emissions reductions, energy access, and matching energy supply and demand. I look forward to Kenya acting as a pioneer in championing the use of this innovative tool that will provide options for implementing Kenya’s emission reduction strategies and achieving net-zero development pathways by 2050.”

 

In his remarks, the Principal Secretary Ministry of Energy, Maj. Gen (Rtd). Dr. Gordon Kihalangwa noted that the, “Energy is about security, about development, but if we use it badly it will affect us negatively. Kenya has complied with the Paris Agreement by submitting a revised NDC. A country like this is privileged to use renewables, and the tool will help us work out how we will get to net-zero by 2050.  This KCERT 2050 will be used to support the reduction of emissions and create resilience to climate change in the energy sector in Kenya”

 

Dr John Olukuru, Head of Data Science and Analytics at Strathmore University and Lead KCERT Modeller added“The Kenya Carbon Emission Reduction Tool (KCERT) 2050 is an important data driven policy making tool in climate change. It will help every Kenyan, expert or non-expert, to engage in a well-informed climate change debate. The calculator considers all sectors, stakeholders’ input and various scenarios that provide enormous volume of data and hence sets a foundation to applying AI and machine learning to monitor and decrease carbon emissions, streamline operations to empower every policy maker to recognize that climate action provides an opportunity to create value by tapping into new markets and meeting growing demand for low-carbon plus greener services.

 

David Orr, Emerging Markets Trade and Investment Lead for Mott MacDonald and Programme Country Manager for Kenya, noted: “It has been such a pleasure working with the team to build the KCERT 2050 tool. Over the coming years, the tool will play a core role in advancing Kenya’s net zero transition, inspiring policy-makers across East Africa.”

 

Dr Onesmus Mwabonje, a Research Fellow at Imperial College London’s Centre for Environmental Policy and core member of the Consortium team for Kenya, added: “KCERT will support and stimulate the decarbonisation debate in Kenya, helping to break down silos and generate the consensus across government departments needed to effectively combat, mitigate and adapt to climate change. The decision support capacity that the International 2050 Calculator programme has developed on the modelling of complex transitions and technological options will have a lasting impact in the country and beyond.”

 

The KCERT is available at http://kcert.ilabafrica.ac.ke/


Notes for editors:

 

Background to the 2050 Calculator programme in Kenya:

 

  • KCERT 2050 is an integrated model of energy demand and supply, emissions, and land use in Kenya. It aims to identify energy secure pathways for energy demand and supply between 2015 and 2050. It is developed on the framework of the UK 2050 Calculator and was built in Kenya, by Kenyans, for Kenya.
  • In 2010, the UK Government developed the original 2050 Calculator for the UK; although it has a very flexible structure which can be (and has been) adapted and updated to integrate and suit different economies. Since 2012, UK International Climate Finance has supported the creation of 19 national and 6 regional energy models, which have been used to develop NDCs and action plans, raise awareness and inform long-term energy strategies. In 2020, BEIS launched an updated 2050 Calculator, the MacKay Carbon Calculator.
  • It is a uniquely open, transparent and interactive energy model that allows users to explore options for reducing emissions in a city, region or country, develop evidence-based policies and build pathways to meet long-term emission targets. It sets out a range of four trajectories for the types of changes that might occur, ranging from business as usual to high ambition. These trajectories are intended to reflect the whole range of potential future scenarios that might be seen in that particular sector.
  • The 2050 Calculator and other UK ICF programmes play a critical role in enabling countries to set, plan for, and ratchet ambitious climate targets to act with the urgency that we need today.

Objectives of the KCERT 2050 are:

  • To help users (government, businesses, academia and individuals) to understand the wide range of possible energy pathways available to the country as Kenya develops its green growth transition.
  • To provide quantities of energy demand, supply, emissions, and potential implications for key sectors in Kenya on issues such as import dependence and land requirement.
  • To offer a platform to facilitate policy debate about the possible future pathways for the Kenyan energy sector and enable potential policy interventions for deeper analysis.
  • To help planning to meet Kenya’s updated NDC, which commits to abate GHG emissions by 32% compared to the business-as-usual scenario in 2030. To help attain this target, the Calculator will support Kenya to undertake sophisticated multisectoral planning.

Benefits to Kenya:

  • The KCERT 2050 will increase capacity of departments across the Government of Kenya to carry out strengthened energy systems analysis. The tool allows planners, decision-makers to answer important questions, such as how much greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced and how energy demand can be met, with four different levels of effort and respective emissions levels over years.
  • The tool also allows users to verify the viability of long-term goals, encouraging the participation of disparate opinions, facts, and scientific analysis.
  • It can engage Kenya energy experts and non-experts alike in debate around policy-making towards a more secure, sustainable, and affordable energy future for the country; improving inclusivity of energy policy assessment, policy formulation, and energy planning. The tool also allows users to verify the viability of long-term goals, encouraging the participation of disparate opinions, facts, and scientific analysis.

For reference:

 

Contact:

 

Joy Odero, Head of Communications, British High Commission

 

Mobile no: 0729531591 E-mail: Joy.Odero1@fcdo.gov.uk

No one’s cooking should be limited by the type of stove they use

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Clean cooking is fast becoming an environmental priority and an area of interest globally with investors and governments willing to channel both intellectual and financial resources to the sector. It is through this that clean cooking has glaringly progressed as stakeholders heavily invest in research and the establishment of testing labs to set the seal on the consummation of clean cooking methods and appliances. The technical performance of cookstoves is the core aspect of perceiving their quality and aptness in realizing the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG); affordable and clean energy. Strathmore Energy Research Centre (SERC) is determined to ensure its contribution to clean cooking is applaudable and has therefore set out to establish a stove testing lab that will guarantee the Centre’s universal recognition in stove testing and widen research in the clean cooking sector.

 

On 11th May, a team of three from SERC travelled to Kampala, Uganda for this sole purpose. The two-day benchmarking visit was to the Centre for Research in Energy and Energy Conservation (CREEC), a Regional Testing and Knowledge Centre (RTKC) in Makerere University. CREEC is a renowned research centre founded by Dr. Izael Pereira da Silva in 2001.The centre has an ISO recognized laboratory accredited to carry out tests on cook stoves. It was thus the best place to carry out a benchmark that would facilitate SERC to set up a similar lab for stove testing. Walking into the university, the relaxed ambience clearly indicated that one was no longer in the bustling streets of Kampala and that the academic power house was naturally one of the pre-eminent places to excel. Makerere University was all that we had envisaged and more, the realization of really being there evoked a feeling of immense ingenuity and that immediately gave us the conviction that we were indeed in the right place.

 

Our first day of the visit started with a short walk to the College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology (CEDAT) where CREEC is based. We were cordially welcomed by Ms. Agnes Naluwagga, the RTKC coordinator who introduced us to her team and showed us around the centre. We had our first meeting with members of CREEC who shared what they work on as a research centre. We also made a presentation on what SERC was about and realized that our goals and interests greatly aligned and again, it was an affirmation to us that we had the best people to guide us in the stove testing journey.

 

We were then shown the stove testing laboratory. It was startling how so much could go on in a small space that made it possible for standard stoves to be delivered to millions of users and consequently promote clean cooking. Before getting in the lab, one could never guess what was in it and what impact it had on the future of clean cooking. The experience not only challenged us professionally but also on a personal level, that space can never be an impediment in expanding and exploring scientific ideas and knowledge; it is more of how to utilize it fully to realize whatever idea we conceive in our minds.

 

We conducted a test, the Water Boiling Test (WBT), which is a laboratory based test intended to help stove manufacturers determine how efficient a stove is in terms of fuel usage; how well energy is transferred from the fuel to the cooking vessel. The test was conducted under the guidance of Mr. Derrick Kiwana, a renewable energy consultant. Reading about the test made it quite vague and several questions came up. Conducting the test made everything explicit and gave us the morale to regularly conduct such tests at SERC. Mr. Kiwana took us through other stove testing tests, including the Controlled Cooking Test (CCT), Kitchen Performance Test (KPT), and the Emissions and Performance Test Protocol (EPTP). The day concluded with a stroll around Makerere University and Wandegeya, which is around the university. Wandegeya is ever buzzing with activities mainly due to numerous students’ halls of residence, hotels, boutiques, grocery shops, and an easily recognizable bus terminus.

 

Friday, the final day of the benchmarking started out hot as the sun was up early and already hovering over the many hills of Kampala. The day’s topic of discussion was the ISO 17025, which was the heart of the establishment of a functioning stove testing laboratory. Mr. Alvin Araka, the quality assurance engineer made an illuminating presentation on the standard. Two main principles of a testing laboratory stood out; impartiality and confidentiality. It was clear that the two factors unequivocally determined the success of any laboratory. Other standard requirements and procedures were clearly outlined and exhaustively discussed.

 

The rest of the day mainly incorporated experiencing Kampala and the people’s culture, including learning a few words in Luganda, sampling a few of their cuisines and modes of transport. The many hills of Kampala were divine and made the city really beautiful to tour. These activities were made possible by the CREEC team and the people of Kampala at large; they were so doting and willing to share their culture and knowledge. The trip was a huge success as we not only learnt much on stove testing but also forged alliances and friendships that will last as we will continue exchanging ideas and resources to achieve a society that champions for and promotes clean cooking in whatever capacity it can.

 

This project is funded by GCF and is led by Ms. Teddy Nalubega.

 

This article was written by Maryvelma Nafula, a Mechanical Engineering Graduate Trainee at Strathmore Energy Research Centre.

 

You can contact us at serc@strathmore.edu for more information.