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STATUS OF RENEWABLE ENERGY UPTAKE IN KENYA – THE CASE OF BIOGAS PRODUCTION AND UTILIZATION

Energy demand and utilization is rising in many parts of the developing countries. It is well known that the use of fossil sources of energy is unsustainable and is associated with greenhouse gas emissions and the resultant climate change.  In the recent past the Government of Kenya has supported the uptake of renewable energy through the enactment of enabling legislation. This has seen investments in sustainable energy production go up significantly, giving renewable energy a higher proportion in the electric power mix. However, in rural communities and poor urban settlements, the use of firewood and charcoal is still prevalent due to the high cost of electric power. This has led to significant deforestation and loss of tree cover in many parts of the country. The result has been progressive loss of soil through erosion and diminishing streams and rivers; affecting food security and livelihoods. A clear solution is the sustainable use of biomass energy through biogas production from waste biomass, which is readily available.