Biomass use Kenya

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Published on February 11, 2008

Author: Manlio

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Biomass Use In Kenya:  Biomass Use In Kenya Policy Considerations Dr. Dominic Walubengo Acknowledgements:  Acknowledgements This presentation is extracted from a paper by Dr. Fridah Mugo and Dr. Evans Kituyi Definition:  Definition In this presentation, biomass energy refers to charcoal, firewood and agricultural residues. Wood a rural fuel :  Wood a rural fuel Firewood is mainly a rural fuel with over 90% of the rural population dependent on it. Charcoal an urban fuel:  Charcoal an urban fuel Charcoal is mainly an urban fuel, with over 50% of the urban population using it. However the urban slum population is to firewood. Laini Saba / Kibera residents access firewood from Ngong forest Closing forests does not help:  Closing forests does not help Closing forests does not help. All it does is make charcoal and firewood more expensive, as the sellers will now require police escorts and other means to get the fuel to the consumers. Most important source of energy:  Most important source of energy In 1980, biomass energy provided close to 77% of Kenya’s national energy requirements (The Beijer Institute); petroleum fuels provided about 20% and electricity 1.2%. respectively. Hostile Environment:  Hostile Environment The biomass energy sector is hostile to entrepreneurs. Thuiya Enterprises Ltd., has given up on the charcoal trade. One can simply not move charcoal, even if bought from a private enterprise. Lack of financial appeal:  Lack of financial appeal Biomass energy lacks financial appeal, has unreliable statistics and people in high positions do not understand the roles played by this source of energy in the social, economic, and environmental sectors of the society. Poor People’s fuel:  Poor People’s fuel Biomass is seen as poor people’s source of energy. The rich only use charcoal for roasting meat during parties, and wood in their fireplaces to warm themselves during the cold months of June and July. Sources of biomass supply:  Sources of biomass supply Communal forests and woodlands, government plantations, trees around fields, along roadsides and in homesteads. Biomass energy is increasingly provided from private smallholder lands and farm woodlots. Wood supply deficit:  Wood supply deficit In 1980 the Beijer Institute estimated that by the Year 2000, Kenya would have a wood supply deficit of 32.61 million tons. With the recent massive forest excisions this may not be far off the mark. Consumers of Biomass Energy:  Consumers of Biomass Energy Rural households – wood Urban households- charcoal Institutions: schools / colleges, hospitals, (mostly wood) Industries: tea, bakeries, brick making, sugar (mostly bagasse and wood), tobacco (mostly wood) Stakeholder participation (1):  Stakeholder participation (1) The Ministry of Energy says that biomass energy policies have been formulated. However, personally, I have yet to see a copy.   Stakeholder participation (2):  Stakeholder participation (2) The ministry should share these policies with stakeholders. We need to read these policies and comment on them. Stakeholders have participated in the sugar debate, the forest debate, and in the water debate. Why not in the energy debate? Poor institutional arrangements:  Poor institutional arrangements The present institutional arrangements are not adequate to facilitate sustainable development of biomass energy. There in inadequate information for planning and policy formulation, limited financial and human resources and institutional capacity. Economic benefits:  Economic benefits   Fuel-wood and charcoal production alone can employ over 300,000 people. Efficient utilization of the resource can save Ksh. 57 billion annually. Production of household stoves has a business potential of Ksh.6 billion. Environmental Benefits:  Environmental Benefits The environmental benefits of efficient use of biomass energy are many. Our woodlands and forests will not be under threat. Carbon sinks will not be destroyed. Biological diversity will not be threatened. Progress in Biomass Energy:  Progress in Biomass Energy   This can be divided into two categories: supply side and demand side Supply Side:  Supply Side Tree planting on farms and agroforestry were quite popular in the 1980s. Now, we do not even have credible tree nurseries. As for afforestation and forest regeneration, the excisions speak for themselves. We do not have plantations dedicated to the production of fuel-wood or charcoal. Demand Side:  Demand Side Good progress has been made on the demand side. Efficient technologies have been introduced. New forms of biomass fuels have emerged – for example kahawa charcoal, char-dust, and briquettes. Biomass Energy Technologies:  Biomass Energy Technologies Biomass energy technologies available in Kenya include: improved household stoves, improved institutional stoves, efficient charcoal making kilns and efficient bakeries Charcoal stoves in Kenya:  Charcoal stoves in Kenya Two types in use in Kenya: the Kenya Ceramic Jiko (KCJ), efficiency of 30-35%; the Sigiri (traditional metal) stove with an efficiency of 15-20%.. Institutional stoves:  Institutional stoves Improved institutional stoves have got a positive impact on the consumption of wood by institutions: a school which needs three lorries of wood per term, would need only one lorry if they converted from the open fire to improved institutional stoves Charcoal use:  Charcoal use In 1980, the Beijer Institute estimated that 0.7 million tons of charcoal was consumed in Kenya. Now in 2002, my estimate is that charcoal consumption in Kenya is approaching 2 million tons per year. Some questions:  Some questions Is charcoal making and transportation illegal or is it not? Why is such a useful fuel so difficult to transport from the production sites to the consumption centers? Why is the use of charcoal not illegal? Why are our kitchens not constructed to use of charcoal? Charcoal kilns:  Charcoal kilns Using a traditional charcoal kiln, every ton of charcoal produced depletes about 0.1 hectares of woodlands. An efficient kiln would need about 0.05 ha. for every ton of charcoal produced. Where is our attention?:  Where is our attention? Our current energy policy pays more attention to petroleum and electricity than to any other sources of energy. These two are seen as energy that will drive the country to industrialization. Electricity for all?:  Electricity for all? We shall not in the next 200 years provide electricity to all those who want it. We shall not be able to provide LPG to all those who want it. Therefore, we should pay attention to biomass energy and give it more prominence and more funding. Who should control biomass?:  Who should control biomass? Most of our biomass energy comes from forests and woodlands in the form of wood or charcoal. The new forests bill 2000 acknowledges “that forests are the main source of domestic fuel wood for the Kenyan people”. Forest bill and firewood:  Forest bill and firewood The forest bill only describes charcoal and fuel-wood as a “forest produce”, its definition of fuel-wood: “ any freshly cut or dry parts of trees, shrubs or refuse wood generally meant for burning, but does not include straight timber logs or poles of any kind”.   Recommendations:  Recommendations The Ministry of Energy was established in 1979. Apart from the Kenya Renewable Energy Development Project (KRDP) of the mid 1980s, what other biomass energy initiatives has the Ministry promoted?   A new Institution?:  A new Institution? Kenya needs a serious institution that will deal solely with biomass energy issues. The majority of the Kenyan voters and tax payers depend on it. This is a legitimate demand. This body could be placed in the Ministry of Energy, or that in charge of Rural Development, or environment. A new body in charge of biomass:  A new body in charge of biomass The biomass energy body would have the following duties: facilitating the collection of data, issuing of licenses, labeling wood and charcoal, setting standards, monitoring the flow of charcoal and wood from production to consumption centers A new body:  A new body This body would increase and legitimize employment in the biomass energy sector. It would also ensure that the woodlands of Kajiado, Mwingi, Kitui and Machakos which supply Nairobi with charcoal are not mined, but given a chance to regenerate, or even replanted with the appropriate species to allow the charcoal trade to thrive. Thank you:  Thank you Thank you Ladies and Gentlemen for your attention

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