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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.

 

What’s your story? We’d like to hear it. Contact us via communications@strathmore.edu

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.

 

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

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.

 

Narok county propels the county energy plan to drive energy access for its people

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The Narok County Energy Plan stakeholder validation workshop was concluded on 25th October 2022 after subsequent meetings and workshops held in Narok during the month of October. In attendance were key stakeholders from Oloisukut Group Conservancy, Narok Disabled Integrated Programme, Sejelai Organisation, Jua Kali, Kenya Power, Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, and others.

 

The intended outcome of the validation workshop, which was held in Zebu Hotel, Narok, was for the sector leads to present a preliminary draft Narok County Energy Plan report to stakeholders, and receive their comments with respect to their inputs during the focus group discussions and the fieldwork survey carried out earlier in the year. Narok is one of the ten counties out of forty-seven that have developed a county energy plan.

 

During his opening remarks, Eng. George Njoroge affirmed the commitment by Kenya Power to ensure the county reaches an energy access rate above 70 percent by 2025 and as such, is pleased to be part of this process of drafting the county energy plan. This, he added, will ensure that the agenda to drive energy access to the people of Narok is achieved. Focus Group discussions held earlier in the year revealed that most of the residents of the county are willing to transition from traditional to modern cooking fuels and pay for energy services, making Eng. Njoroge’s remarks timely.

 

After the sector-lead presentations of the eight chapters, Tom Maruti, an Economist, and Planner at the Ministry of Energy, emphasized that the report should be both progressive and aligned with the national energy existing policies to ease implementation.  Further, added Abel Omanga, Comssa Kenya Focal Person, GIZ, “as we finalize the report we need to consider how the Narok County Energy Plan will be implemented and separate what will be done at the county level and what needs intervention at the national level.”

 

All stakeholders were upbeat about the amount of work and dedication done by the various sector teams to deliver a well-researched county energy plan report taking into consideration all their feedback given during data collection. Many echoed that this could be a template for the development of future county energy plans. Key comments from stakeholders included; making biogas a priority intervention as dung from animals within the county is vastly available. This as per the stakeholders should be a priority area.

 

The women also raised some of the challenges they have faced due to lack of energy access. According to Nanyiare Siomit Noonkipa (Mama), “If there is anyone who has suffered in the county is the woman. For many years we have carried firewood on our backs while risking our lives out in the wild in search for energy. If energy access is made available for all, we will eradicate the use of firewood and save lives,” she concluded.

 

At the end of the workshop, all the feedback was collated and the team is embarking on a final review of the Narok County Energy Plan report, which will be launched in December 2022.

 

This project is funded by UK PACT in partnership with the Narok 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.

 

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

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.

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

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 doublas.ronoh@wri.org 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 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.

Access to geospatial data can spur counties

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The Kenya Productive Use of Energy Market Status Policy Brief 2021 defines the Productive Use of Energy (PUE) as the umbrella term for using off-grid electricity to power electric appliances that help run a business or income-generating activity. This is key to the country as solar-powered appliances can generate more earnings while creating savings and decent jobs. PUE also directly contributes to Kenya’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), attracting climate financing to Kenya and providing a favorable PUE business environment. It is with this outlook that Strathmore Energy Research CentreWorld Resources Institute, and SNV conducted a training on how to map opportunities for productive use of energy using the Energy Access Explorer tool. The training, which was held on 25 and 26 May 2022 was attended by county officials from Bungoma, Makueni, and Narok, private companies, and financiers.

 

The PUE is an emerging space and as such, many companies may face a challenge discovering the best opportunities to test and expand their business models and solutions. Currently, there is a lack of sufficient information on the market needs, wants, value chain, logistics, and existing competitors, among others.  The Energy Access Explorer tool aims to negate this challenge by providing an online platform that provides open-source data information to inform energy access planning, investing, and decision-making for and in the productive use sector by enabling stakeholders to visualize and analyze high priority areas where access to energy should be expanded. This Geographic Information System tool, which uses geospatial analysis, allows the user to access information such as grid proximity, wind power potential, solar power potential, location of farms, agro-processing facilities, markets, water sources, rainfall precipitation, groundwater levels, income levels, investment needs, among others.

 

Christine Atego, CEO of Sunken Ltd could not agree more. She attests that this tool will provide geographical information that has been lacking to assist in making investment decisions. It  will assist her as she sells solar water pumps to the population in Turkana. For example, before advising a supplier on a pay-as-you-go model, this tool will assist her to know the population and thus the implication of a pay-as-you-go model to her as an entrepreneur.

 

The Energy Access Explorer tool allows one to:

  • Generate geospatial analysis based on one’s own criteria
  • Link electrification to development outcomes
  • Have a better understanding in terms of aspects of affordability and levels of services needed in the region, such as health care facilities
  • Identify priority areas where grants and support will have the most impact and;
  • A bottom-up assessment of energy needs.

 

“For a long time, the energy sector has faced challenges in getting specific data in a single place. Thus, the tool provides a fundamental aggregation of data in a unitary platform in terms of infrastructure, environment, and population. Further, this tool provides a simplified user interface to allow non-technical users to analyze the data. A wonderful tool for the industry in a simplified manner,” said  Dr. Francis Xavier, Lecturer, and Researcher in energy at JKUAT and a member of the Kenya Renewable Energy Association

 

This tool is available online and is easy to use. There is no software installation needed. One can access it from the website and immediately begin using it. For further information on this tool, you can consult douglas.ronoh@wri.org.

 

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

 

Would you like to share your experience of living through the circumstances brought by the Covid-19 pandemic? Kindly email: communications@strathmore.edu

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Driving the Electric Vehicle Revolution in Kenya

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Strathmore Energy Research Centre, in partnership with Arc Ride Global ltd, Fika Mobility, Energy 4 Impact, and Imperial College London assisted by AEMDA, held the first Technical Working Group workshop for the Charge Up! project on 20th April 2022. In attendance were key partners from the government and the private sector with representatives from: Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA), Kenya Power, Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure Housing, Urban Development, and Public Works, Kenya Renewable Energy Association (KEREA), and, the Ministry of Industrialization, Trade, and Enterprise Development, and Basigo, among others. This project aims to drive the electric vehicle revolution in Kenya by creating a charging and battery swap stations master plan in Nairobi city to be replicated in other towns within the country and abroad.

 

The commercial partners, Arc Ride Global ltd and Fika Mobility will be responsible for rolling out over 300 electric vehicles (two-wheelers and three-wheelers) and 45 charge stations. Strathmore Energy Research Centre and Imperial College London will be the research partners providing a variety of data points from the electric vehicles to create a master plan for battery swapping stations in Nairobi. The Energy 4 Impact will develop a value proposition for potential business partners while providing administrative support.

 

The supply of electricity in Kenya

The Director in charge of Transport and e-mobility, Eng. David Mugambi assured the different partners that Kenya Power is ready to support electric mobility in Kenya. The company was well able to supply the electricity required to charge EVs in the country. It was, however, pointed out that it would be important to determine where the load points/areas were planned to enable the company effectively supply electricity as needed. Further, he also stated that Kenya Power is incorporating electric mobility in their energy plan to grow the generation and distribution capacity and together with other partners, deliver reliable and efficient electricity for the sector.

 

Tariff Allocation
Stima Boda Co-Founder, Jason Grass, shared his views on tariff allocation during the panel discussion. “We would need to build trust and confidence with the government, customers, and investors by incentivizing these different groups to switch from fossil fuels to electricity through tariff allocation,” he said. An investor would need to think of the cost versus benefit of installing a large-scale battery- swapping station in Nairobi while electricity providers would need access to smart meters to ensure that the electricity is for powering e-mobility. The consumer on the other hand needs to trust that electric two, three, and four-wheelers are safe to use and that there are enough charging stations for them to make the switch.

 

The first Technical Working Group workshop ended with perhaps more questions than answers but what was agreed on by all is that we need to educate key decision-makers; the government, the investors, and most importantly the consumer on the value proposition of electric mobility in Kenya. At the end of a series of workshops planned for 2022, policy recommendations will be drafted to facilitate mass electric vehicle charging infrastructure roll-out in Nairobi. The next workshop will be held in July 2022.

 

This project is funded by P4G and is led by Mr. Patrick Mwanzia.

 

The article was written by Ms. Anne Njeri, Communications Officer at Strathmore Energy Research Centre. You can contact us at serc@strathmore.edu for more information.