The Kenya Biogas programme is a component of the African Biogas Partnership Programme (ABPP), funded by the Directorate General for International Cooperation (DGIS) of the Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs through two Dutch development NGO’s, the Humanist Institute for Cooperation with Developing Countries (Hivos) and the Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV). The ABPP is part of a broader objective of DGIS targeting provision of sustainable energy to 10 million people in six African countries, including Kenya, by the year 2015.
The Kenya National Domestic Biogas Programme (KENDBIP) will be implemented between 2009 and 2013 under the auspices of the Kenya National Biogas committee ( KENBIC) which is chaired by the Ministry of Energy and draws its membership from relevant stakeholders from both private and public sectors.
The overall goal of the Kenya national Domestic Biogas Programme (KENDBIP) is promotion, dissemination and adoption of the domestic biogas technology as a local alternative sustainable energy source through the development of a commercially viable, market-oriented biogas sector.
The Kenya National Federation of Agricultural Producers (KENFAP) is the National Implementing Agency (N.I.A) for this programme in Kenya.
The Kenya national Domestic Biogas Programme (KENDBIP) will be implemented based on private sector market oriented principles, but relying on Government support for a favourable regulatory and policy environment, as well as general buy-in promotion and extension. The programme aims to stimulate the installation of 8,000 domestic biogas plants of between 6m3 - 12 m3 capacity by December 2013, prioritizing high agricultural potential regions. Successful implementation of this programme will positively contribute to the Government’s goal of enhancing equity and wealth creation opportunities for the poor; energy; science, technology and innovation (STI) as stipulated in the Kenya’s current development blueprint, the “Kenya Vision 2030; a globally competitive and prosperous Kenya”. Further, this blueprint envisages an increase in household energy demand with increased families’ incomes and urbanization against a backdrop of diminishing energy sources, hence the urgent need to develop alternative and renewable sources of energy such as biogas
A survey on biogas utilization in Kenya carried out by the Ministry of Energy in 1997 and the Kenya Biogas Feasibility Study of 2007, funded by the Shell Foundation both confirmed a immense potential and demand for this technology in most agricultural high potential areas, and identified technical and financial constraints as the main challenges facing the promotion and uptake of biogas technology in Kenya.
The Technical constraints have now been exhaustively addressed through the development of the Kenya Biogas Model (KENBIM), a customized hybrid of models developed by various successful biogas programmes across the globe.
The Kenya national Domestic Biogas Programme (KENDBIP) is designed with a subsidy component, calculated using cost, benefit and returns to buy-down the cost of each fully installed and commissioned biogas plant. The subsidy rate is uniform across the plant sizes proportionately benefiting the small farmers more and averages about 30% of the capital required to commission a 6m3 biogas plant. In addition to the potential savings from family energy expenditure, the Programme will promote effective utilization of the bio-slurry discharged from the biodigester as fertilizer to improve agricultural production.
The Kenya National Federation of Agricultural Producers (KENFAP), the National Implementing Agency (N.I.A) for the Kenya national Domestic Biogas Programme is working with various partners in implementation of the programme including training of masons and users, promotion and marketing, plants construction, development and distribution of biogas appliances, bio-slurry utilization etc.
Farmers represent 80% of the rural poor population of Kenya, who depend on agriculture, mainly mixed farming, through rearing livestock and cultivating land for their livelihoods. The majority of these farmers, forming the main component of the rural poor rely on biomass as their main source of energy for both cooking and lighting.
Wood fuel accounts for about 68% of the total primary energy sources in Kenya, with the overall reliance on biomass being over 80%, with only 15% of Kenyans having access to the national electricity grid, resulting to heavy depletion of the country’s forest reserves and thus serious environmental degradation.
The biogas technology is an alternative energy source for cooking and lighting for the rural farmers. The biogas technology mainly utilizes the waste produced at the farm to produce clean renewable energy. The biogas plants also produce slurry as one of the by-products which can be utilized to improve soil fertility. However, farmers in Kenya have not exploited the use of this technology due to various reasons including limited awareness on the technology and limited disposable incomes from the farming activities. The overall goal of the Kenya national Domestic Biogas Programme (KENDBIP) is promotion, dissemination and adoption of the domestic biogas technology as a local alternative sustainable energy source through the development of a commercially viable, market-oriented biogas sector.