A FOCUS ON ENERGY AWARENESS CREATION

By Kennedy Khusi

Energy is one of the big four agendas for Kenya. It touches on all the day to day running of the nation’s various key sectors ranging from Health, Manufacturing, Agriculture and Sports Transport among others.

However, the most of the Kenyans especially in the rural areas are unable to access electrical energy which is the primary form of energy.  This is due to inability of the national grid to fully take the total country’s demand which results from inefficient energy consumption by the heavy consumers most of which are Factories, Commercial buildings and Hospitals.

One way of improving the energy efficiency in these facilities is by training creating awareness to the workers and staff so as to impact a positive human behavior towards energy usage. This is the first and free action point of consideration before investing in energy efficiency projects and considering alternative energy sources like solar and wind. 

Tea industry is one of Kenya’s big energy consumers. Currently, we are the 3rd tea producing country in the world after China and India respectively and the leading tea exporting country in the world followed by Sri Lanka and Vietnam. This means that, if focus is directed in this industry with regards to energy consumption efficiency it can help in solving the energy issues, which is part of the Kenya’s big four agendas.

Many a times we lack knowledge and sometimes we are ignorant on “small” things which end up not only raising the energy consumption but also digging deep into our pockets in terms of energy costs. A survey done through a training on the energy management and awareness creation within one tea company set up comprising of 5 tea factories revealed this. Some of the key take away as highlighted during and after the training are as below:

From the participants’ feedback, equivalence of 12% felt that communication on the training was outstanding. 42% were satisfied excellently while 46% felt the communication was good. None of the participants felt it was averagely or poorly. 

Meeting of the training objectives was rated at 46% both at outstanding and excellent levels while 8% felt it was good. There was no rating at both average and poor levels.

From the 24 filled respondents, 17 felt the training was excellent in their lines of work and development. 4 participants felt it was good while and outstanding for 3 participants.

The appropriateness of the training content and exercise to the participants’ objectives was rated at 46%, 37% and 17% at excellent level, good level and outstanding level respectively. Again, none of the participant felt it was poorly done or done averagely.

The level of competence of the trainers on the subjects of training was rated highest at excellent level by 11 participants. 7 participants felt the trainers were outstanding while 6 felt they were good. None of the participant rated the trainers averagely or poor.

CONCLUSION

The overall training was found to be so helpful to the trainees in that they were able to learn some of the things they didn’t know can make a big impact in the energy consumption. Most of the trainees were felt that from the training they can now relate energy and their daily lines of duty and how they can be of importance in managing energy through behavioral changes.

This emphasizes that, as energy professions, we have a key duty in creating awareness in energy. This is the only way we can be able to reduce the overall energy consumption without having to invest in the energy efficiency projects which most of the time are way expensive to implement especially to small and medium sized institutions. Trainings and energy awareness creation should be therefore considered in other industries in order to continue impacting knowledge on energy matters as part of our vision 2030 of access to electricity to all.

Training & Professional development

By Paul Muhia Data & Energy driven Analyst.

We live in a fast-paced world and the race towards self-actualization is unending. Professionals from all walks of life are in constant search for new information in order to catch up with the trends in their respective fields. Survival for the fittest as many call it, implies that; only the strong can survive any changes that might occur in their immediate environment. Thus for professionals to ensure their survival they need to keep training in their respective fields. 

Training is vital to any organization irrespective of the nature of the business. It ensures that the company is aware of all the trends in the industry and cannot be left behind. The return on investment from training as an individual or organization is quite satisfying despite the perceived lost workdays during training sessions. 

Importance of training & development

  • Increased job satisfaction and morale among employees: Training that involves taking a group of your employees say to a seminar creates a bond among them as they get the chance to interact together.
  • Employee motivation: If an employee sees that they are growing professionally through training they get motivated to even perform more as they become more confident about their capabilities.
  • Increased efficiencies in processes, resulting in financial gain: Focused in-house training addresses key issues facing your organization. Trained personnel become better equipped to operate machines more efficiently.
  • Increased capacity to adopt new technologies and methods: Consistent training ensures that one is conversant with ongoing technological trends and they are ready to adopt them.
  • Increased innovation in strategies and products: Training stretches the minds of the staff especially when different departments are combined. They can collaborate together and come up with innovative products for the organization.
  • Reduced employee turnover: investing in your employees gives them a sense of belonging and they feel they are valued members of the company.
  • Enhanced company image, e.g. conducting ethics training (not a good reason for ethics training!): It is no brainer to see clients in favor of an organization that constantly trains its staff. Customers associate this with complete know-how of your products. Your employees also tend to be more professional when handling customers.
  • Risk management, e.g., training about sexual harassment, diversity training

How prepared are you as a professional in your field with the emergence of new methods & technologies? 

New technologies and solutions are emerging to address today’s challenges. As a professional, it gives you an edge to constantly keep yourself updated with these trends.

The energy professional Training Survey 2019 Report (https://energyzedworld.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Training-Survey-2019.pdf) shows a growing demand for training from energy professionals. This can be attributed to the fact that energy space is a disruptive field with constant changes now and then. Intensive research is being undertaken for example in the battery storage to ensure that homes can still use solar power at night. Solar PV technologies between the last 5-10 years have really changed with increased efficiency. Without the knowledge of these changes a solar PV technician might find themselves recommending an old technology yet, there are more efficient and possibly cheaper alternatives in the market.

What are some of the training needs in your organization?

Important Facts About Energy And Tourism

Is There a Relationship Between Energy And Tourism?

By Monica Ngage

Tourism is one of the main foreign income earners for our country. Apart from income generation, it significantly impacts the environment negatively and as a result, there is a need to shift to a form of tourism that is sustainable called ecotourism which has minimal impacts on the environment. Energy is indispensable in our day to day lives and tourism facilities haven’t been left out.

The United Nations World Tourism Organization (2008) suggests that there is a dual relationship between tourism and global warming where tourism is both a contributor as well as a victim. Tourism through its various components (tourist destinations, transportation, accommodation, travel brokers and travel related services) is responsible for about 5% of global CO2 emissions. Hence the need to adopt sustainable tourism.

Sustainable tourism promotes the adoption of green energy solutions as well as a global trend with travelers being keener on green practices. This has seen the demand for tourism accommodation facilities to take responsibility for their contributions to climate change and the declining environmental state. Green energy, also referred to as renewable energy is derived from sources that can be used repeatedly without getting depleted which include; wind, hydro energy, solar energy biomass, and tidal power. Green energy can be harnessed and used for various uses within a tourist facility, such as cooking, heating water for guests and lighting.

Ecotourism Kenya has a criterion that specifically addresses energy. The criterion states that energy sources should be indicated, monitored and conserved. It further emphasizes the adoption of renewables as well as innovative measures for sustainable use of energy that actively includes efforts by both guests and employees.  Further to this, The Energy (solar water heating) Regulations, 2012 require among other things that, all premises within the jurisdiction of local authorities with hot water requirements of a capacity exceeding one hundred liters (100 liters) per day shall install and use solar heating systems.

A good number of facilities within the Eco-rating Scheme have adopted the use of green energy. One example is Olarro Lodge, a Gold Eco-rated facility. The lodge is powered primarily by solar energy.  The facility has invested in a total of 150 solar panels fixed with power inverters systems. This energy is harnessed, stored and used to supply the requirements of electricity, water heating and maintenance of the swimming pool. The lodge has also installed twenty-six (26) solar water heating system each with a capacity of 300 liters.

Sustainable tourism also emphasizes energy conservation and efficient use of the already available energy. In this effect, Olarro Lodge has invested in the use of solar rechargeable torches/flash lights in the guest rooms. All visitors are also briefed upon arrival on the need to conserve energy through switching off unnecessary lights. This has further been exemplified by installing sensitization signage throughout the facility encouraging both staff and guests to switch off unnecessary lights. LED (Light Emitting Diodes) and energy saving bulbs are fixed throughout the facility for energy use efficiency.

Apart from the example mentioned above, we have other simple but efficient practices that tourism facilities can adopt; these includes 

  • Switching off power appliances when not in use,
  • Replacement of incandescent bulbs with Light Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs which have lower energy consumption,
  • Use of efficient clothes washer in the laundry / running laundry machines on optimum weight hence reducing wastage,
  • Energy awareness by the assessment of the facilities energy usage data. Both the management and the employees should be well versed with the pros and cons of energy management,
  • Facility monitoring to access the level of energy consumption and the facility energy demand so as keep a track of environmental impacts over time.

Before making any travel and booking arrangements, it is important to know if the accommodation facility is ecofriendly. You can get this information by asking the hotel providers the following:

  • If they have an environmental policy and demand to see it
  • The kind of accreditations that they have
  • The hotel rating say by Ecotourism Kenya
  • Sustainability standards
  • Their Waste recycling process and usage of local materials
  • The involvement of the local people in their activities
  • Sources of hot water in the showers; is it solar heated?
  • The conservation projects they engage in
  • If the hotel uses  renewable energy
  • Where they source their food

There is no limit to the questions that you can ask; the more you ask the more you understand the facility. 

It is the desire of every business to satisfy their clients. With the increased demand for ecofriendly products, the hospitality facilities will be compelled to go green in order to satisfy their clients. By so doing, they not only increase their clientele base, but also make earth a better place for all of us.

Source: Ecotourismkenya.org; https://ecotourismkenya.org/eco-rated-facilities/entry/21/

United Nations World Tourism Organization (2008): https://sdt.unwto.org/content/faq-climate-change-and-tourism

ERC Regulations 2012: https://renewableenergy.go.ke/index.php/news/3

Ollaro lodge: https://olarrokenya.com

Energy Professionals Survey Report

Efficient use of resources is necessary for the continued survival of the human race, but to get there, continuous learning is even more necessary. It is heart-warming to study the results of this survey as what stands out most is that energy professionals have taken ownership of their own personal development where two-thirds of respondents fund their training needs themselves.

Professionals qualify from institutions that are formed and shaped by similar principles and practices around the world. Most qualifications carry more or less much the same value when compared with each other. To be successful in career and life, the survival of the fittest comes into play.

Energy engineering professionals that actively develop an array of soft skills, business skills, together with advancing and keeping their technical skills current will elevate themselves above their peers through continuous learning.

Key Lessons That Energy Managers Learn From Eagles

By Paul Muhia,

Eagles. 

For centuries, these seemingly larger-than-life birds have fascinated and inspired us with their brilliant characteristics and abilities. A lot of research has been done to try and understand their royalness. Some of the outstanding features that we shall explore today are.

1. Soaring:

An Eagle usually flies high above the storm, and its only encounter is with fellow Eagles. No other bird dares fly this high as they are afraid of the storms. It is not afraid to use its majestic wings to fly against these strong winds.  Instead of viewing the strong winds as a barrier, they leverage on the pressure of the storm to glide higher without having to use their energy. 

bald-eagle-wallpapers-flight

2. Precision:

Once the Eagle focuses on prey, it is accurate in its execution. Eagles are well known for their accuracy in capturing prey. Once it sets its eyes on prey, it never misses it. The muscle in the eyes continuously adjusts the curvature of the eyeballs to maintain sharp focus and accurate perception throughout the approach and attack. 

haliaeetus_leucocephalus2

3. Adventure:

Eagles love to take new challenges and are not afraid of the storm. They don’t settle for dead things like vultures. They go for a fresh meat hunt even if that means preying on a goat which is more significant than them in size. An Eagle is not afraid to step out of its comfort zone and try out new things. The adventurous nature of an Eagle makes it survive longer than an average bird.

Having said enough about Eagles, what lessons can energy managers learn from Eagles?

There is a lot to learn from the Eagles, and their magnificence is inexhaustible. As an energy manager or facility manager concerned with the daily activities of your company where energy is at the core of everything, you need to be self-aware of what goes where and what comes out. An energy audit will not save you money on its own. Action is necessary to realize the full benefits of an energy audit.

You need to wear special glasses to enable you to scrutinize where your energy spending goes and where there are potential energy wastages. An energy monitoring solution comes into play as part of your arsenal to reduce consumption. Just like an Eagle can see far, real-time energy consumption enables you to measure and determine your energy usage now and make forecasts on future energy spending.

Machine operators can also get deep insights into the efficiency of the equipment. They can then be able to take proactive measures to prolong your equipment lifespan.

Quick action is required to save money and energy. Whenever energy wastage occurs, such as a motor running with no load, it needs to be switched off. However, how does one determine that a piece of equipment running in your facility is idle, for example? 

New technologies in energy monitoring will help you make a profile of your regular operations. Any deviations from norm will automatically trigger an alert and pinpoint the exact location. 

This call to action triggers requires an energy manager who is quick to take action and attends to problems as they happen.

Do you have an energy monitoring solution at your facility? 

WORKING IN THE ENERGY CONSULTANCY SECTOR?

WHAT IS YOUR QUALIFICATION?

By Eleen Korir

Image result for careers in the energy industry

INTRODUCTION

The Human Resources Department at Eenovators receives numerous applications from interested parties who want to join our vibrant team. We receive applications from across different disciplines and it has been of interest to assess what disciplines the applications originate from.

There are several careers in the energy sector cutting across both the technical and non-technical lines. The most common being energy engineers who hail from different backgrounds including: chemical and process, electrical, mechanical, instrumentation and control, energy management/technology, renewable energy amongst others.

The non technical careers include: marketers, communication specialist, public relations, strategists, finance, energy talent managers, energy lawyers, statisticians, trainers, monitoring and evaluation specialists, energy software developers and other related fields. There are many more emerging careers that come into place every day, given the transformational nature of the energy field.

GENDER BALANCE

It was worth noting that an overwhelming majority of the applications (85.2%) were received from male applicants and only 14.8% were received from the females as shown in the figure below.

Figure 1: Chart Showing the gender balance

WHAT DOES THIS TELL US?

Are men more interested in the energy field that women? Probably yes? Or is it the perception that this is an engineering field that is male dominated? In my opinion, this is an open field for everyone regardless of the gender. As we will see below, there are so many career options in this field that women can participate in. For example, in our company, at most times, we have more ladies that men.

SOURCE OF APPLICATIONS

The applications we receive and those used for this write up were mainly form our career tab on our website; https://eenovators.com/index.php/careers/. On a few occasions, we receive them from our contact email info@eenovators.com and also through referrals from friends of Eenovators. Majority of these job applications are from applicants spontaneously sending in their applications with the hope that they will find an opportunity to join the firm. Fewer applications are received in response to adverts for positions the firm is seeking to fill. Majority of the applications received are from candidates in the technical field with minimal numbers in the non-technical field.

Here is a brief analysis of applications we have received in the last six months.

Figure 2: Graphical representation of different disciplines

From this graphical representation, majority of the applicants have studied Electrical and Electronic Engineering (39.3%) followed by Renewable Energy (21.4%), Mechanical Engineering (10.7%) and closely followed by applicants who have studied Energy Technology.

Observations:

The results of the energy consulting applications give room for a couple of questions for reflection:

  1. Do most people perceive energy consultancy as an electrical and electronic engineering niche?
  2. Is renewable energy as a field of study taking its place as the next big thing in the energy space?
  3. From a non-technical angle – are applicants from the communications and public relations fields identifying potential areas for practice in the energy consulting field?

The energy field is diverse and has plenty of careers from different disciplines that one can venture into. We have observed and experienced candidates with Chemical and process engineering capabilities, performing extremely well yet from the results above we observe only 3.9% (2 out of 56) applications received. This might be as a result of the perception that energy consultancy involves electrical works only. The truth is, energy consultancy is not a preserve for electrical engineers alone.

Energy comes in many different forms ranging from electrical energy to thermal energy to mechanical energy. As an organization we have found find huge opportunities for energy management in the Thermal energy space. It is as such a perception out there that that energy is majorly related to electricity, which is not the case. The high number of applications received from electrical and electronic engineers is a testament to this myth.

Instrumentation and control professionals are also important in the energy sector as they help in understanding:

  • The production or process industry set up
  • How instruments are used to measure/monitor signals
  • Then control the machinery/processes accordingly.

In cases where automation is involved, instrumentation and control form part of the system for example in setting up energy monitors, energy efficiency projects.

What happens at Eenovators Limited?

At Eenovators, our engineers get involved in setting up energy management systems in our Eagles Energy Management Program that provides a platform for:

  • Energy data collection
  • Monitoring
  • Management.

They are involved in installing real time energy monitors for:

  • Electricity
  • Gas
  • Fuel
  • Water

They also install instruments that monitor occupancy, temperature and, humidity.

This means engineers with a background in instrumentation and control come in very handy.

Renewable and clean energy is one of the safest ways to ensuring there is reduced emission of greenhouse gases. Very useful as the world looks into combating climate change. The professionals in energy technology and renewable energy are best placed to bring out the best solutions which include; solar technologies, wind power, generation, use of biogas amongst other sustainable energy solutions.

What about professionals in the petroleum engineering? Do they qualify for energy consultancy? Energy consultancy is very broad. Eenovators have only indulged in a section of it which is largely in the energy efficiency. Petroleum engineering has not been a part of what we do. Although, they can fit in in fuel use analysis for energy efficiency. They also can do much work in the petroleum industry ensuring quality petroleum products that are less harmful to the environment.

Below is a pie chart representation of the numbers in each of the qualification

Figure 3: Chart Showing number of applications received

It would be important to urge more engineers from diverse fields to develop an interest in the energy space and look out for careers in the energy industry. This does not only apply only to engineers and technicians but also non-technical professionals. Business Development opportunities in the energy industry are continually available and need to be exploited.

Careers that also have a big role to play in advancing the energy industry to the next level include:

  • Lawyers
  • Environmentalists
  • Public Relations Professionals
  • Human Resource Practitioners
  • Finance Professionals
  • Statisticians

Energy is a dynamic discipline. It integrates with many fields to make it grow and have a positive impact on our environment.

With the New Energy Reguations 2019 , all these careers are very vital in ensuring Kenya is an energy efficient and sufficient country.

Energy and Climate Change- The connection

By Karen Thuranira

Seasons In Kenya

Growing up in a county far away in the heart of Eastern Kenya, weather patterns were very predictable. For instance, We knew there were 2 rainy seasons in a year. The long rains which started at around mid-March to June, and the short rains which came in October to December.

Farmers like my mother looked forward to these seasons, which usually ended with bountiful harvests. The weather was generally beautiful. A couple of years later, things have changed so much.

The World is Warming

As Kenya and the rest of the world warms, extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and intense. Prolonged droughts, floods, extreme heat, and very cold weather are not new anymore.

In 2017, for instance, it became so hot in Arizona, things were literally melting. See this; https://www.littlethings.com/so-hot-in-arizona-melting

You certainly feel a twinge just trying to imagine what can be done at a personal level to resolve a problem so severe.

Well, the good news is you are not alone. Schools, Institutions, businesses, groups, and communities are taking action as well.

Ways to help fight climate change

1. Adopt Renewable Energy

Globally, people are rushing for cleaner healthier energy like solar, wind, hydropower, and geothermal energy among others.

In Kenya, the renewable energy sector is among the most active in Africa. President Kenyatta recently announced plans to move the country to 100% green energy by 2020. He aims to help mitigate climate change by reducing Kenya’s carbon footprint. Currently,  70% of the nation’s installed electricity capacity comes from renewable energy sources, which is more than three times the global average.

So as a country, we are already doing something to combat climate change. However, the individual effort can help get the desired results much faster. We can!

2. Green your commute

These are the various ways to reduce your transportation emissions and will also make you healthier, happier and save you a few shillings, especially during these hard economic times. Whenever and wherever you can:

  • Use public transport.
  • Take a bike.
  • Car-share.
  • Switch to an electric or hybrid vehicle 🙂 (This is exciting)
  • Fly less.

3. Adopt Energy Management – It saves you money too 🙂

By becoming more energy efficient, you’ll pollute less and save money. Below are some of the small changes you can make yet they go a long way in saving our dear planet.

  1. Change to energy efficient light bulbs.
  2. Unplug electronics when you’re not using them.
  3. Be smart with your washing machine:
    1. Wash clothes in cold or warm (not hot) water.
    2. Dryers are energy hogs, so use the sun to dry up your clothes
    3. Install a programmable thermostat.
  4. Look for the Energy Star label when buying new appliances.
  5. Get a home or workplace energy audit to identify where you can make the most energy-saving gains. Check with Eenovators Ltd for awesome deals.

4. Eat for the climate

Here are four simple changes you can make to your diet to reduce its climate impact.

  1. Eat meat only if the meal is free 🙂
  2. Buy organic and local food whenever possible.
  3. Don’t waste food.
  4. Grow your own.

Ps. Does eating insects help in reducing climate impact? Leave you comment in the comments section below this article.

5. Consume less, waste less, and enjoy life more

When you focus on life’s simple pleasures like spending time in nature, then you get to understand better what works well and what destroys her. When you spend time with loved ones, the desire to create a safe haven for them is unbeatable, hence a better environment for them and for everyone.

Eventually, these things not only make a difference to others but also give you a sense of purpose, belonging and happiness, much more than what you get from buying and consuming.

Sharing, making, fixing, recycling, reusing and reducing are all good places to start.

6. Fossil fuels? Run…

Let the industry know you care about climate change by making sure any investments you and your house or workplace make do not include fossil fuels. Join campaigns against fossil fuels. Invest in a healthier future.

7. Invest in renewables

For most Kenyans in rural areas, life is much better since they started using solar solutions. A good number have already invested in solar panels and solar water heaters, others have bought solar lanterns, solar water pumps e.t.c. With this kind of positivity and desire, green and clean energy economy is not out of reach.

You can also become a part of this!

8. Guilty about pollution?

Carbon pricing helps makes polluting activities more expensive and green solutions relatively more affordable, allowing energy-efficient business and/or household to save money.

Is pricing carbon an efficient and business-friendly way to reduce emissions? Comment with your suggestions in the comments section below this article.

9. Vote

The government can have a big effect on Kenya’s ability to lower emissions, prepare and adapt to climate change therefore shifting to a clean-energy economy.

Ensure you are a registered voter,  get informed on all Kenyan elections. Research about the various parties, ask questions about climate change and let your candidates know you are voting them in for climate.

If you are too young to vote, encourage the people in your circles to vote. Change begins with you and me.

10. Tell your story and listen to others

The issue of climate change is bigger than all of us. It’s about families, communities, energy systems and humanity’s future. It’s important to join hands toward climate solutions.

People are more often influenced by friends than by experts, so make sure to talk about climate change with friends and family. Tell them stories about changes you’ve seen and how climate change has affected you, and the actions you are taking to lessen your impact. Encourage friends and family to explore the things they can do about climate change.

Finally, Join us on Facebook(@Eenovators), Twitter(@Eenovators)  and LinkedIn(Eenovators Ltd) to share ideas and articles, write comments and help get the word out. Or, write a blog for our Energyzed World about climate action.  You could also join us for the World Energy Day 2019.

Is Water Management Still Relevant?

By Pherry Angela.

An International Resource says that half of the world is to face severe water stress come 2030. Well, it’s not yet 2030 and in our country Kenya, this is already becoming a reality for most of the population. The percentage of people already being affected by water stress is likely to increase exponentially. This is due to effects of global warming that are being experienced, and the constantly increasing population. Therefore, unless drastic changes on how we utilize our water resources are made, it will not be a lie to say that tough days are ahead of us.

At the moment, dwindling water levels in our dams has stopped being news. Dry taps and constant water rationing have become a norm in our homes and even places of work. Drillers are forced to drill deeper as the existing bore holes are running dry.

This is the story for some people living in the Karen area in Nairobi, as the Ground Water Levels have gone down. The cases only reinforce the undeniable truth that we as a country need to look into sustainable ways to manage and utilize our water resources.

Mismanagement of water in our country occurs in the places you would least expect. Places you think that people would know better and where there is evidence that they understand our water stress situation.

Take for example our learning institutions; Universities, Secondary and Primary Schools. These are the places where people are thought to be taught on ways to better the world. Yet the mismanaging of water going on is just unthinkable.

Type of toilets

The types of toilets in place are still those that flush about 7- 9 liters of water down the drain. A single person washing their hands at the tap uses nearly 4 liters of water . Put into consideration the size of the population.You will see that we have a big water wastage problem. In addition to this, there are always leaking taps, toilets, and pipes that go unnoticed. Okay… maybe people notice but just don’t care.

Water usage by students

There is also ignorance on the part of the students about how they use water. Since they don’t pay the bills, they are hardly conscious or cautious about how they use water.

Where do we start to correct the error of water mismanagement? The best place to start would be at our learning institutions. We will have hope that the lessons there will always take the lessons back to the society at large.

Sensitization of students

Sensitizing the students on the importance of water management through:

  • Addition of a relevant subject in their curriculum
  • Having workshops held by entities that are concerned with water management such as Eenovators and Endustrial Support at the schools.
  • Formation of Policies by the government towards this goal could also be beneficial.

Water management policies

Imagine if we had policies that govern the construction of buildings to attain water savings? Policies that would govern what type of toilets, showers, and taps were acceptable for commercial buildings. Policies to ensure that pipe network systems are checked regularly to mitigate any leakages? Wouldn’t this make the difference we are all looking for towards water savings?

These measures may seem to be unattainable to many or even costly. Although, these conservation measures have been tried before and have worked. The initial cost of implementation maybe high but the payback time is guaranteed. Water bills get lower. The long-term benefit of having attained proper management of water in our country as a whole, makes it all the more worth it.

As we continue to reflect about the water situation in this country, we need to reflect on the words of Niall Fitzgerland “Sustainability is here to stay or we not be”, These deep words only affirm to us that our only option in our constantly changing world is to seek sustainable ways to use and manage our water if we are to live.

Pherry Angela is currently an undergraduate student at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. Angela is pursuing a Bachelors Degree in Civil Engineering and is very passionate about matters that pertain to the Environment and its wellbeing. She believes in the fact that the world has enough for everyone’s need and not everyone’s greed.
pherryarchie@gmail.com

Carbon Pricing: What It Is And Its Implication On Energy Sourcing

By Martin Ochieng’

Carbon pricing

Sometimes referred to as a form of tax, is a cost levied on the carbon content of fuels. The concept draws from the need to encourage industries most involved in pollution to reduce the amount of greenhouse gasses they liberate into the atmosphere [1]. All these efforts aim at reducing the current and potential effects of climate change.Economists regard this phenomenon (Climate change) as a market failure.

The implication of this definition draws from the realization that climate change poses significant risks and costs to future generations who will suffer the consequences with the same risks and consequences failing to reflect in current market prices [1]. Scholars suggest that the current society needs to account for the future costs of climate change by putting a price on the thing that causes it.

The World Bank [2] identifies two main types of carbon pricing. These are emissions trading systems (ETS) and carbon taxes.

The ETS system

Sometimes described as the cap and trade system places a cap on the total allowable greenhouse gas emissions and allows industries with low emission to sell their extra allowances to larger emitters. This particular approach has been highly beneficial to Tesla, the electric car company which has been able to raise up to two billion dollars in carbon trading with car manufacturers dealing in high fuel consumption vehicles [3].


Emissions Trading System

Carbon taxes

As the name suggests, means the government institutes a carbon tax levied on the distribution, use, and sale of fossil fuels basing the cost on their respective carbon content [1]. The basis of these approaches remains the same. Therefor, carbon pricing makes environmental pollution via carbon emissions increasingly expensive.

Carbon Tax System

What are some of the effects or carbon taxing?

The effects of such approaches are evident in countries that took up this initiative. For instance, the UK ranked 20th out of a list of 33 wealthy countries in 2012 in terms of low carbon electricity use. In 2017, the country rose through the ranking to 7th a fete unheard of before according to a study by Imperial College London [3]. This occurrence was a direct result of carbon pricing introduced by the country in 2013 at £18 per ton. This change made it more expensive to burn coal which produces twice the emissions per unit as natural gas [3].

Figure 1: The UK’s Electricity generation from fossil fuels

Has carbon pricing been tried before?

Currently, carbon pricing is still a relatively foreign concept to most African countries including Kenya.

However, Nyavaya [4] reports on a different approach taken by some African countries with Kenya being one of them. This approach is referred to by proponents as Carbon Credits. In a nutshell, this involves the planting of trees and maintenance of forests to offset the effects of greenhouse gas emissions, particularly through industrial activities.

This approach is in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, this method is not without its challenges as the market for carbon credits both locally and internationally is still a little slim. However, success cases exist especially along the coastal region with villagers planting mangroves for carbon credits with the help of foreign organizations.

I know what you’re thinking. This can’t be as fool proof as advertised or everyone would be immediately in on it. However, Carbon pricing has its flaws including concerns such as consumers bearing the increased cost as a result of carbon pricing. Such concerns have made this concept’s proliferation a little slower with politicians lobbied by industries exploiting this concern.

However, a few countries have shown great progress in combating this issue with Canada going as far as recommending the redistribution of revenue collected through carbon pricing to its citizens based on household income in a new carbon pricing bill.

Studies find that their approach leads to a net cost of at least zero to a majority of households [5]. It is important to note, however, that other studies find ambiguous results in other scenarios [6].

Conclusion

Clearly, the world is increasingly becoming aware of the implications of climate change. This is especially exemplified by the occurrence in the United States where an ambitious bill championing changes to offset the effects of climate change was voted down but elicited a conversation about the serious implications of apathy towards the same [5]. The price of pollution will be heavy in the coming decades. Therefor, industries need to understand these costs today through carbon pricing to reduce the rate of global warming. This will fuel the shift to cleaner energy.

Works Cited

[1] London School of Economics, “What is a carbon price and why do we need one?,” 17 May 2018. [Online]. Available: http://www.lse.ac.uk/GranthamInstitute/faqs/what-is-a-carbon-price-and-why-do-we-need-one/.
[2] The World Bank, “Pricing Carbon,” 15 May 2019. [Online]. Available: http://www.worldbank.org/en/programs/pricing-carbon#CarbonPricing.
[3] Transport Evolved, “SUVs and Pickup Trucks are Helping Tesla’s Balance Sheet — Just Not How You Might Think,” Transport Evolved, 10 May 2019. [Online]. Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nBYEHPH8RQ. [Accessed 16 May 2019].
[4] A. Rathi, 1 February 2018. [Online]. Available: https://qz.com/1192753/a-carbon-tax-killed-coal-in-the-uk-natural-gas-is-next/.
[5] K. Nyavaya, “Carbon credit: A lesson from Kenya,” 14 January 2018. [Online]. Available: https://www.thestandard.co.zw/2018/01/14/carbon-credit-lesson-kenya/.
[6] J. Oliver, “Green New Deal: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO),” HBO, 12 May 2019. [Online]. Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDcro7dPqpA. [Accessed 16 May 2019].
[7] I. I. Dorband, M. Jakob, M. Kalkuhl and J. C. Steckel, “Poverty and distributional effects of carbon pricing in low- and middleincome countries – A global comparative analysis,” World Development, vol. 115, pp. 246-257, 2019.
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Will Fuel Prices Ever Rule The World?

By Ruth Carol Atieno

Electricity prices shoots up again

Kenya, for quite a long time, has been hit by a dry spell and this year, the rains came later than expected. To make matters worse, the down pour has been poor. Most if not all regions in Kenya are experiencing very little rains.

Not forgetting our rivers, from which hydropower is harnessed. The water levels have greatly decreased which means the amount of hydropower harnessed has also decreased big time!

Masinga Hydro-power Plant

What is the current electricity demand in Kenya?

Currently, the electricity demand in Kenya is 1,600MW and is expected grow with the government working on increasing access to electricity especially among the households in the rural areas.

Following the poor rains, the generation of hydropower has drastically reduced by 39% between August 2018 and February 2019, information from the Energy & Petroleum Regulation Authority. Kenya is now generating more electricity using diesel.

If you are keen enough, you will notice your electricity bill has been slowly increasing. Take a look at specifically the month of May, the cost of fuel has increased drastically. And this is because the cheaper hydropower is not enough to sustain the electricity demand in Kenya.

The rise of fuel cost levy

The fuel cost levy which was previously Sh.2.75, rose up to Sh.3.75 per Kilowatt hour. The Energy Principal Secretary, Joseph Njoroge, explained that the fuel cost charge has gone up due to the prolonged drought that the country has gone through recently. He also added that the situation would have been worse if we had no intervention from wind power, we would have experienced the highest ever fuel cost charge coupled with some power rationing.


Energy Principal Secretary, Joseph Njoroge

The new Sh.3.75 charge already took effect, on Friday 10th, for the consumers using the prepaid system. As for the consumers using postpaid, they are yet to feel the punch from June. This means that homes and businesses, on a monthly average, will have to pay an additional whooping Sh930 million in fuel costs.

EPRA yet to release April data and there is no hope for any good news. Clearly, since the rainfall patterns are not pleasing.

Our hope now is on the two largest clean energy sources in Kenya, Lake Turkana Wind Power which has a capacity of 850 Kilowatt hours and the 50 Megawatt Garissa Solar Power Plant, from which the government has promised increased generation of cheaper electricity.

Garissa Solar Power Plant
Lake Turkana Wind Power