Smart Development: Renewable Energy Options in East Africa
I have been searching for evidence that biogas technology is indeed a feasible renewable energy source in some parts of East Africa. Yesterday I came across these two links, which show renewable energy production with potential of scaling up to benefit those on the bottom of the pyramid.
In Uganda's Kampala City Abattoir, biogas use has cut diesel bills by 90 percent per month and reduced their overall monthly energy expenses by up to $2,800—a fair sum in the local economy. And that’s with just 40 percent of the facility hooked up to the system... read more from 'A Biofuel Revolution Transforms Slaughterhouse to Powerhouse' by Mark Hay
The multiple benefits of such a technology is that it is addressing waste management, pollution, energy,and creating employment, and if I was to think as an agriculturalist, i get a better organic fertiliser from the bio-digesters! Indeed this is a smart development worth scaling up.
A similar version is in Kiserian Kenya where, the pastoral community Maasai are producing biogas from their slaughter houses and selling the gas to the local community. Such an initiative if scaled up would reduce the health impacts on women for using firewood and kerosene, reduce deforestation by providing a cheaper cooking gas, increase farm productivity by selling a cheaper organic fertilizer, and even create jobs. Read more on the Business Daily.
|Source: Business Daily|
I am not only enthused by the potential of such technologies, but especially the packaging of biogas and possibility of wide scale distribution of such. Most East African countries have a lot of biomass which would be recycled, and reused in energy production, and at the same time support the agri food systems addressing multiple challenges of food security, energy, employment creation, deforestation and in effect addressing the impacts of climate change.
May I also add, as a youth enthusiast, I see many green jobs being created in such endeavours. What we need to keep the momentum of such smart development is invest in science and technology that is locally scalable, makes use of locally available resources and is affordable to the local communities while meeting the international standards and addressing the global environmental and economic challenges.