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Anne Njoroge

Let us put time, energy and emotion to the Makueni county energy plan

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These were the sentiments shared by H.E Mutula Kilonzo Junior, CBS, Governor, Government of Makueni, during his opening remarks at a progress meeting held on 15th February 2023 in his office. During the meeting, Victor Otieno, Researcher at Strathmore Energy Research Centre (SERC) provided an overview on the Makueni County Energy Plan (CEP) to the Governor and several members of the County Executive Committee Members. He was accompanied by Sarah Odera from SERC and Beryl Ajwang, World Resources Institute. Victor described the process of developing the Makueni CEP, drawing linkages garnered from the Narok and Kitui County Energy Plan experiences.


Developing the CEP includes creating a GIS toolkit for energy planning, which equips users with data and insights to identify and prioritize areas where energy access can be expanded. Further, data collection is done at the household level and through focus group discussions with public institutions such as schools, health facilities as well as micro, small, and medium enterprises. To ensure sustainability, the team provides capacity building for county officers and Technical Training Institutions located within Makueni.


“One of our key challenges is accessing all the scientific research and data about Makueni,” said Dr. Sonnia Musyoka, CECM in charge of Lands, Urban Development, Environment and Climate Change. “We hope as a University you will be able to assist with this,” she added. Dr. Musyoka was happy that the Makueni CEP will assist the county in its drive to make decisions based on science and data.


H.E Mutula Kilonzo Junior, CBS, reminded the team to use the bottom up approach and ensure clean energy ambassadors are selected from the community. It is these ambassadors who will help us advocate for clean energy use within the county and make energy transition understandable. He also advocated for a correlation between what we are doing in the county energy plan and enhancing the lives of the people in Makueni. He further challenged the team to think towards green bonds and how to educate the community on various opportunities in the renewable energy sector.


The team, which began the development of the Makueni County Energy plan is currently analyzing the household survey data that was collected towards the end of 2022. The team has also begun capacity building workshops with the first one held in Nairobi on 24th November 2022. The workshop brought gender experts to a round table to discuss how to incorporate Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) into county energy plans.


The Makueni County Energy Plan will be completed in September 2023 and the findings will be disseminated to stakeholders in the energy ecosystem.


This project is funded by UKPACKT in partnership with the Makueni County and World Resources Institute and is led by Victor Thomas Otieno.


This article was written by Anne Njeri Njoroge, Communications Officer at Strathmore Energy Research Centre.


Sizing a water pump is as important as selecting a shoe that fits

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The Energy Efficient Borehole Pumping Systems five-day training of trainers was off to a great start with the first cohort completing their course on 9 September 2022 at Strathmore Energy Research Centre. The training was exhilarating as it merged both the theoretical and practical aspects of concept design, detail specifications, solar systems, the installation process, operations, maintenance, and troubleshooting of energy-efficient borehole pumping systems. The delegates trained included engineers with electrical, mechanical, environmental, civil, and water backgrounds from Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Somalia, and Sudan. This made the experience rich and diverse.


“The training has been yet another opportunity to learn about the implementation of design thinking.” These were some of the remarks from one of the delegates, Sandra Banda, a Project Engineer at Strathmore University. “I look forward to imparting the knowledge gained to aspiring or advanced project managers to efficiently design and analyze energy systems for their borehole systems,” she added.


Field visits


As part of the five-day training, the delegates visited Grundfos, a company keen to solve the world’s water and climate challenges, and Davis and Shirtliff, a leader in water and energy solutions to get hands-on experience on the operational aspects of water pumps and key aspects to look out for when selecting submersible and surface pumps. Participants were able to have a look and feel of small pumps for household use and large pumps used in wastewater. Further, by the end of the visit, they were able to spot replica, substandard pumps, that mimic the original pumps in the market.


Sizing and selecting a water pump


Some of the key lessons learnt during the training was the importance of correctly sizing a borehole pump. Do you remember your younger years when your parent would buy you a shoe one size bigger to ensure it lasts longer? Sometimes, we carry this concept into sizing a pump, which in turn not only raises the cost over time but is a disservice to the user and the environment. Wrong sizing can cause cavitation issues, bearing failure, impeller failure, and excessive vibration, which in the end increases the maintenance costs and depletes the groundwater table. Additionally, when selecting either a submersible or a surface pump, it is important to consider the flow rate, total head of the pump, pump curves, and pump model to ensure the pump provides the service that is required.


“I have waited four years to get an opportunity to be trained as I work in a rural setting where the majority of the population are cattle herders and indigenous farmers. We solely rely on solar water pumps and this training has taught me the concepts of selecting and sizing a water pump, data collection before drilling a borehole, understanding the types of solar panels to use and the right cabling during installation. This was a great learning opportunity for me.” said Charles Na’anyen Dashe, Water and Habitat Engineer, Jos Plateau State, North Central Nigeria.


The engineers now embark on a personal case study project to put into practice their findings when they return to their different countries. Upon submitting their project, they will receive a certificate.


The training that  began on 5 September 2022 is part of a Memorandum of Understanding with the International Committee of Red Cross where Strathmore University offers learning space and technical learning capacities to ICRC’s team of engineers, staff, and other humanitarian experts. ICRC, in turn, equips the University’s laboratories with customized training equipment and tools.


This project is funded by Strathmore Energy Research Centre and the International Committee of the Red Cross and is led by Mr. Ignatius Maranga.

This article was written by Anne Njoroge, a Communications Officer at Strathmore Energy Research Centre.

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Data mapping for the productive use of energy in Bungoma, Makueni and Narok counties in Kenya

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On 21st July 2021, Strathmore Energy Research Centre (SERC), SNV, ENDEV and World Resource Institute (WRI) hosted a webinar to introduce a data-driven approach for identifying priority areas for productive uses of energy (PUE) interventions using the Energy Access Explorer (EAE) as a tool. This was based on a project done in Bungoma, Makueni and Narok counties to map data for PUE. The webinar provided a platform to facilitate dialogue for practitioners, policymakers, academics, civil society, and other stakeholders to better inform energy planning and decision-making for energy investments in the PUE sector.


Productive Uses of Energy are a key driver of economic development since they can power industrial, agricultural, and commercial appliances to generate income as well as support efforts towards economic growth. Further, PUE has the potential to boost off-grid economies and create new businesses. It is this that led to the development of an EAE tool to supplement the emerging area.


In his opening remarks, Victor Gathogo, SNV Energy Advisor, reiterated the importance of the EAE tool. The project, which was funded by ENDEV through SNV, was designed based on Kenya’s SE4ALL action agenda as a response to Kenya’s strategy for national electrification by 2022. This strategy outlines the comprehensive plan to connect households, businesses, and public facilities through the grid, mini-grid, and stand-alone off-grid solutions. However, as this is an emerging sector, there has been a gap for stakeholders to access an open source geographic information systems (GIS) tool that avails granular data that can be used to make strategic decisions.


During the webinar, participants had an opportunity to receive an online demonstration of the web-based EAE tool’s interface, functionalities, and data sets. The web-based interface has three sections. The controls to select data sets, the map view section where one can visualize data sets selected, and the statistical analysis section of the areas one has prioritized in their selection. This tool can be used by energy practitioners, energy planners, donors, and development finance institutions. The data sets are grouped into three groups; demand, supply, and other. The tool can also generate a user report. Currently, there is a public-facing web browser that is available for all users online. Participants had an opportunity to share some of their views, including the importance of incorporating data from other counties in the tool and allowing access to the general public to populate data. They also requested additional training on how to use the tool effectively.


In his concluding remarks, Dr. Dimitris Mentis, WRI, Lead Energy Access Explorer, affirmed the stakeholders that the team is currently sifting the data on productive uses of energy into the public-facing interface that will be available to the public. Also, if you would like to attend training workshops on the tool, you can get in touch with for further information.


To listen more to this insightful webinar and tap into the future possibilities of PUE, click this link.

This article was written by Anne Njoroge, Communications Officer at Strathmore Energy Research Centre.



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

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:




Joy Odero, Head of Communications, British High Commission


Mobile no: 0729531591 E-mail:

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.


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