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The 30th edition of RES4Africa Academy’s Technical and Vocational School was finalized with a field visit in Nairobi, Kenya

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Around 19 young energy professionals from East Africa participated in the 30th training edition of the RES4Africa Academy Technical and Vocational School (former MGA), supported by the knowledge partner Enel Foundation and carried out  in person for the first time since the end of the pandemic in Kenya, from the 10th to the 14th of July 2023. 


The lectures hosted at Strathmore University’s Energy Research Centre (SERC) provided trainees with first-hand capacity building on decentralised renewable energy solutions and a wide set of technical topics (i.e., renewable and non-renewable generation solutions, energy needs worldwide, RE potentials in Africa, solar energy radiation and resource characterisation for DRE design micro-grid architecture, energy procedures for productive uses in rural communities, etc.).


As a crucial part of the learning path, on the 13th of July, students had the opportunity to be involved in a field visit to Nairobi, Kenya. During the practical experiences conducted at St. Kizito VTI, the participants were able to benefit from hands-on demonstrations and exercises on system installation, commissioning, and decommissioning. The aim was to bridge the gap between theory and practise as well as deal with technical topics in line with this edition’s content for Module 1: Decentralised Energy Systems (DRE).


The activities were organised in collaboration with the RES4Africa Academy’s Technical and Vocational School Network: St. Kizito Vocational Training Institute, AVSI Foundation, and Enel Foundation, while the lectures were delivered by experts from Strathmore University, St. Kizito VTI, AVSI Foundation, The Companionships of Work Organisation CoWA, Enel Green Power, Enel Grids, and Sapienza University.


This article was first published on RES4Africa.


30 clean energy ambassadors trained and ready to roar in Makueni county

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Wote town, Makueni county hosted the first energy champions training on 20th and 21st June, 2023 for thirty ward representatives. This training was a special request by H.E Mutula Kilonzo Jnr, Governor of Makueni, where he reiterated, in a previous meeting, the importance of having a bottom-up approach while developing the Makueni county energy plan.


The energy champions were selected from each ward to assist the county advocate for clean energy use and make energy transition understandable at the grass root level. During the two-day training, the champions had an opportunity to learn the linkages between climate change and the energy sector, the basic use and operation of solar technologies such as solar panels, solar cooling and solar water pumping, the importance of improved cookstoves, communication and active listening. The training included seminar style teaching, group discussions and role plays.


“The skills I have received from this training have propelled my desire to advocate further for clean cooking technologies. During my interaction with women in the community, I have found that they are directly affected by the fumes produced by firewood when preparing meals for their families. Consequently, using firewood daily makes them prone to lung infections. This training has equipped me on how I can best advocate for “Jiko Kisasa” –  a clean cooking stoves which I have been using since 2008” Salome Kilonzi, retailer of clean cook stoves and solar home systems at Membuten supplies, Mbitine Ward.


This training was timely for Makueni County stated Eng. Naomi Nthambi, Chief Officer, Energy. She noted that projects advocating for the use of clean cooking and energy have a nil or low uptake due to lack of community awareness. The newly trained energy champion’s will be our ambassadors to help penetrate the community and spread the good news of clean and safe energy. Collective action and behaviour change at the local and individual level will be driven by their influence and proactiveness within the community to advocate for clean energy. Furthermore, they will be the voice of the county in promoting clean energy, sharing information about new and ongoing projects, and assisting the county in overseeing these projects. 


The Makueni county energy plan is now sixty percent complete. “The team has now begun writing the various chapters of the county energy plan and analyzing productive uses of energy at the county level targeting projects that are utilizing energy for income generating activities.” affirmed Patrick Mwanzia, Ag. Director, Strathmore Energy Research Centre. “We are also identifying key projects that can be financed during the implementation of the county energy plan to help the community advance on electricity access, clean cooking, energy efficiency and conservation matters. He added.


In the month of July 2023, the team will conduct a carbon credits training in collaboration with the national treasury.


This project is funded by UKPACT in partnership with the Makueni County and World Resources Institute and is led by Patrick Mwanzia.


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


Kenya’s practical steps to net zero carbon emissions take shape

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Government officials from the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum (MoEP) and its affiliate agencies (EPRA, KenGen, GDC, Kenya Power, REREC and NuPEA) attended a sensitization workshop on the Kenya Carbon Emission Reduction Tool (KCERT 2050) on 19th May. A first in Africa, this tool is a unique, open, transparent, and interactive model that could assist the country reach its low carbon transitions, to meet the worlds emission targets.


In his opening remarks, Dr. John Olukuru, Head of Data Science and Analytics at Strathmore University emphasized that Kenya is ahead of many countries in developing a carbon emission reduction tool and that there is need to benchmark with other countries like India who have successfully implemented the same. He added that India had achieved beyond what we dreamed. They have a centralized database where everything is channeled to and are currently working on predictive modelling. Dr. Olukuru noted that such specific efforts are necessary to ensure that goals set are met.


The KCERT 2050 tool was developed in 2022 and is now in its second phase. The training workshops on how to feed and use the tool will take place at the national level for various key ministries, state departments and agencies. It is envisaged that a steering committee spearheaded by the MoEP will be formed to periodically update and fine-tune the model. The KCERT 2050 Calculator will also be embedded in the existing curriculum at undergraduate and graduate levels at Strathmore University and other institutions.


Dr. Mutisya, Director in Charge of Energy Efficiency and Conservation at MoEP emphasized the importance of all ministries and parastatals feeding key data in the tool. He further stated that data on energy efficiency, clean cooking and biogas are important to assist pioneer energy planning for the country. This will ensure the tool remains useful and can be used by other counties.


The interactive Carbon Calculator 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.


Further, the tool is an evidence-based blueprint supported by existing policies in the legal space such as The Energy Act 2019, the Bioenergy Strategy 2022 – 2027, Vision 2030, The Kenya National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy among others and is aligned to SDG 7, a vehicle to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030.


The team will now receive a three-day intensive hands-on training in the month of June.


To learn more on Kenya Carbon Emission Reduction Tool (KCERT 2050) click this link.


This project is led by Patrick Kioko Mwanzia of Strathmore Energy Research Centre and Dr. John Olukuru, Head of Data Science and Analytics.



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


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Sustainable transport at its epitome

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At the end of April, I had my first ride in a BasiGo e-bus from their warehouse in Kikuyu all the way to the heart of Eastlands and finally to ROAM park, a facility newly opened for electric motorcycle production and battery development. I enjoyed the quietness of the bus and the opportunity I had to charge my phone while travelling. The e-bus also offers free WI-FI and piped music. What struck me the most is that I could  use my laptop to work while travelling. In the bliss of the quietness, I could catch up with pending deadlines, read a book or just relax while emitting zero emissions to the atmosphere. Sustainable transport at its epitome.


Sustainable transport

The Sustainable Development Sustainable Transport InterAgency 2021 report by the United Nations states that sustainable transport is central to sustainable development. With impacts across a range of sustainable development goals (SDGs), it is key to achieving the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. In Kenya, sustainable transport is growing rapidly. While two-wheelers have taken the lead due to the availability of battery swapping stations and the convenience of  them  anywhere using  a standard three-hole socket charger, four wheelers and buses are also gaining traction.


To cement this growth, on April 1st 2023, the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) approved a special tarrif under the e-mobility category for charging of electric vehicles (EV) after it noted that as of 2022, there were 350 and counting registered e-vehicles in Kenya. This new tarrif set at Kshs 17 for energy consumption for up to 15,000 kWh during peak periods and Kshs 8 kWh during off-peak periods will promote Kenya’s agenda on climate change and sustainability.


It’s this growth in the sustainable transport sector that informed an in-depth study.


Assessing the Impact of EV Uptake on the Grid

From December 2022, Strathmore Energy Research Centre, in partnership with Transformative Urban Mobility Initiative (TUMI E-Bus Mission), have been researching the impact of electric vehicles on the grid, and developing a criteria for installing charging stations in Nairobi. This research is in line with the Kenya National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy e-mobility objective to increase the share of EVs by 5% annually of the total imported cars by 2025, and the government’s plan to introduce a Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) system.


A BRT is an exclusive dedicated corridor providing faster travel times and reducing congestion in the city. Elements of rail and road are weaved to the concept. BRT reduces idling in traffic, which in turn improves air quality.


The key objectives of the research include:

  • Study and model commuter concentration points, traffic flows, the ranges of available electric buses and identify suitable locations for EV charging stations.
  • Determine the maximum number of EV charging stations for depot and opportunity charging that the electricity grid in Nairobi can serve.
  • Propose a clear criterion for installation of public charging stations for the city, noting the grid capacity.


Preliminary findings

The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) Service Plan for BRT Line 2 report found that the service plan estimated peak hour volume as 34,000 passengers per hour per direction and proposed twelve routes along the corridor with direct services to minimize the need for transfers. Further, the operational fleet needed to operate the system is estimated to be 555 articulated buses, corresponding to a total fleet of 611 buses with a 10 percent reserve.


In regards to the power system, before charging station incorporation, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineer (IEEE) 33 bus distribution network test system peak load is 3,715 kW. With incorporation of one charging station at bus 2, the load rises by 1,440 kW to 5,155 kW. When the two charging stations are incorporated, the load increases by 1800 kW to 5,515 kW. The table below gives a summary of load increase with EV charging station incorporation into the distribution network test system.


Look out for the final report, which will be available to the public at the end of July, 2023.This project is funded by the Transformative Urban Mobility Initiative and is led by Ignatius Maranga.


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