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  • 28 Apr 2016
    The first of its kind in our beautiful institute, call it the epitome of excellence. This is yet another platform to raise awareness of the issues around us. Yet still another opportunity to build African future leaders who can hold discussions and dialogue to come up with appropriate solutions to Africa’s problems through making informed decisions. With platforms like this Africa’s future is not just bright but about to glow. Discussing African matters not only focuses on Africa but also the world at large pointing out the different opportunities for collaboration. The countries of the world face the same problems. What we brand “African problems” now, were once “Europe’s problems” and these still exist but not at the same level as in Africa. This is a good thing as case studies are drawn, bringing together different people, laying out learning points and leading to easy ways to handle the different concerns in a better perspective. This is how it happened. We had opening remarks from the team leader Subject Matter, Mr. Andrew Mugumya. His words were not more than encouragement, appreciation and acknowledgement of the efforts by other Community of Practice (CoP) teams in making the debate possible. He gave the timetable for the debates (after every 3 weeks), with certificates to be awarded to participants. At this time, everyone was waiting for the moment when the two teams get to battle it out as they try to convince the audience that “Renewable Energy is the sole solution for Africa’s energy problems or just a nice tune that needs Conventional Energy sources as the soloist”. The moment came, Mr. Eric Otieno, presided over the debate, introduced the 2 sides; Proposers and Opposers, stated the rules of the debate and the ball was set rolling. The first speaker from the proposers, Mr. Yunus Alokore introduced the big elephant in the room. ‘Energy is simply the ability to do work” he stated, He went ahead to give a brief introduction of Africa’s energy problems and how this has impeded development in numerous ways. North Africa depends mostly on fossil fuels, this is unsustainable and there is currently a lot of pressure. The solution to all this is Renewable Energy (RE) and that explains why there is a multitude of RE projects as they’re trying to diversify the energy mix. He pointed out the incredible potential of RE in Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) and how the region continues to live under extreme energy poverty. “Access to energy in Africa at large is still a conundrum, mostly SSA, suffering from systems inefficiencies of the few available ones, low capacity factor and overdependence on a single energy form”. The sun is always available, the potential for biomass is high but the efficiency of use to ensure sustainability is still an issue. More than 1.5 M tons of oil in Nigeria is extracted every year, this has an effect on the water bodies in the country and the environment at large through pollution. This does not only happen in Nigeria but in many other parts of the world where conventional energy sources are dominant. Speaking about the costs of RE, he pointed out the increased funding efforts from the different multinational organizations – the world bank allocated more than 6 billion US $ on RE projects this year alone, Total allocated more than 6bn US $ to financing RE projects too. On buying costs, he gave an account of how the prices of the different RE products have been falling over the years. “So costs should not be a thing to worry about”. Organisations are willing to finance African governments in a direction of clean energies and RE is the solution. He also underscored that when one looks at the lifecycle of both energy systems i.e. RE and conventional energies, it is crystal clear that conventional systems are rather expensive. He submitted and left the floor. Then came the second speaker from the proposers; Ms. Vivian Ogechi. She started by giving the difference between electricity and energy. She acknowledged the fact that RE is a long term approach and for that we need to take baby steps. Citing the great Inga dam in Congo, “this has the potential to feed more than 80% of Africa’s population but due to inefficiencies, it can’t even feed the whole Congo as a country”. She went ahead to state that energy systems like Hybrids where renewable systems of different types are joined together can be a perfect solution to mother Africa’s energy problems. She highlighted some of the African countries where governments are taking steps to include RE in the energy mix (Ethiopia, Algeria and Kenya). She concluded that decentralized energy systems are the solution for the continent’s isolated rural settings. The first speaker from the opposers, took the stage; Ms. Irene Nantongo. “It is very wrong to state that RE is the sole savior for this beautiful continent”, she exclaimed. “What about conventional sources?” she expressed her dissatisfaction to the fact that such discussions come at a time when her beautiful country (Uganda) and other countries have discovered the “flowing wealth”- Oil. She stressed further that the motion is very wrong, citing examples of developed countries and how they never gave up on conventional energy. “Their energy mix is still dominated by fossils fuels, look at the US - conventional energies are still prominent in their energy mix!”. Intermittency of RE is a very big issue, “Does the sun shine every day?”, she asked. Considering the high cost of the RE technologies, a poor continent like mother Africa can’t take that route for now. She drew examples from some of the developed countries in Africa, alluding how clearly their energy mix is dominated by conventional energy. “Africa is rich in RE resources but we need to think wiser”- she submitted and left the floor.The second speaker from the opposers; Mr. Cleus Bamutura, took over the floor. “It is true Africa has the resources, but listen to these humbling facts - Africa’s share on the world total energy consumption is only 5%. Total energy consumed by Africa in one year is consumed by china in one month.” The question should not be sole savior but rather optimization of the different energy sources the continent has at its disposal. Through this, Africa’s energy problems will become history in no time. Our focus should be on setting up resilient energy systems and handling them sustainably. He went ahead to point out the doubtable reliability of renewables citing that they are season dependent. He criticized the debate motion mentioning that, the focus should be on looking for better energy systems rather than limiting our options to one energy source RE as the sole savior. He stated that reasons for dependency on RE are more of sustainability than cost. He further criticized the funding from the organisations alluding how there are many strings attached and that Africa needs to move forward without that. “Yes, RE drives to a direction of access to energy but the question we should ask ourselves is, energy for what?”, he submitted. Rebuttal from proposersOn the floor came the speaker from proposers, Mr. Yunus Alokore. “Human beings never moved from stone age because they ran out of stones”. This was a reaction to the opposers consistent pointing to the availability of conventional energy in Africa and how we can’t ignore them in preference to RE. He defended solar energy by giving a range of other RE sources like Geothermal and Wind that can be harnessed in tandem to overcome the problem of intermittency. Underscoring the Wind potential in Africa being equivalent to the current total installed capacity, and geothermal potential estimated at 15GW. He concluded that intermittency of RE should not be an issue once Africa embarks entirely on RE. Reactions from the audienceThe audience was given a chance to participate in this very engaging session. A lot was said but the contentious issue was the two words “sole savior”. The different speakers from the audience directed a lot of focus on this as they claimed Africa is plagued with a plethora of problems facing the energy sector ranging from poor governance to food insecurity. And hence it would be terribly wrong to single out a solo issue RE as the sole savior of the continent’s energy problems. In a nutshell, the debate was educative, entertaining and very informative. All the participants were satisfied with the richness of the discussions that gave them a detailed insight into Africa’s energy situation, resources and scenarios as well as proposed solutions to curb energy problems in the continent. The entire PAUWES community is looking forward to the next one. As the editorial team, we take this opportunity to thank the entire community for making this a success. @Editorial_team
    1132 Posted by Tonny Kukeera
  • The first of its kind in our beautiful institute, call it the epitome of excellence. This is yet another platform to raise awareness of the issues around us. Yet still another opportunity to build African future leaders who can hold discussions and dialogue to come up with appropriate solutions to Africa’s problems through making informed decisions. With platforms like this Africa’s future is not just bright but about to glow. Discussing African matters not only focuses on Africa but also the world at large pointing out the different opportunities for collaboration. The countries of the world face the same problems. What we brand “African problems” now, were once “Europe’s problems” and these still exist but not at the same level as in Africa. This is a good thing as case studies are drawn, bringing together different people, laying out learning points and leading to easy ways to handle the different concerns in a better perspective. This is how it happened. We had opening remarks from the team leader Subject Matter, Mr. Andrew Mugumya. His words were not more than encouragement, appreciation and acknowledgement of the efforts by other Community of Practice (CoP) teams in making the debate possible. He gave the timetable for the debates (after every 3 weeks), with certificates to be awarded to participants. At this time, everyone was waiting for the moment when the two teams get to battle it out as they try to convince the audience that “Renewable Energy is the sole solution for Africa’s energy problems or just a nice tune that needs Conventional Energy sources as the soloist”. The moment came, Mr. Eric Otieno, presided over the debate, introduced the 2 sides; Proposers and Opposers, stated the rules of the debate and the ball was set rolling. The first speaker from the proposers, Mr. Yunus Alokore introduced the big elephant in the room. ‘Energy is simply the ability to do work” he stated, He went ahead to give a brief introduction of Africa’s energy problems and how this has impeded development in numerous ways. North Africa depends mostly on fossil fuels, this is unsustainable and there is currently a lot of pressure. The solution to all this is Renewable Energy (RE) and that explains why there is a multitude of RE projects as they’re trying to diversify the energy mix. He pointed out the incredible potential of RE in Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) and how the region continues to live under extreme energy poverty. “Access to energy in Africa at large is still a conundrum, mostly SSA, suffering from systems inefficiencies of the few available ones, low capacity factor and overdependence on a single energy form”. The sun is always available, the potential for biomass is high but the efficiency of use to ensure sustainability is still an issue. More than 1.5 M tons of oil in Nigeria is extracted every year, this has an effect on the water bodies in the country and the environment at large through pollution. This does not only happen in Nigeria but in many other parts of the world where conventional energy sources are dominant. Speaking about the costs of RE, he pointed out the increased funding efforts from the different multinational organizations – the world bank allocated more than 6 billion US $ on RE projects this year alone, Total allocated more than 6bn US $ to financing RE projects too. On buying costs, he gave an account of how the prices of the different RE products have been falling over the years. “So costs should not be a thing to worry about”. Organisations are willing to finance African governments in a direction of clean energies and RE is the solution. He also underscored that when one looks at the lifecycle of both energy systems i.e. RE and conventional energies, it is crystal clear that conventional systems are rather expensive. He submitted and left the floor. Then came the second speaker from the proposers; Ms. Vivian Ogechi. She started by giving the difference between electricity and energy. She acknowledged the fact that RE is a long term approach and for that we need to take baby steps. Citing the great Inga dam in Congo, “this has the potential to feed more than 80% of Africa’s population but due to inefficiencies, it can’t even feed the whole Congo as a country”. She went ahead to state that energy systems like Hybrids where renewable systems of different types are joined together can be a perfect solution to mother Africa’s energy problems. She highlighted some of the African countries where governments are taking steps to include RE in the energy mix (Ethiopia, Algeria and Kenya). She concluded that decentralized energy systems are the solution for the continent’s isolated rural settings. The first speaker from the opposers, took the stage; Ms. Irene Nantongo. “It is very wrong to state that RE is the sole savior for this beautiful continent”, she exclaimed. “What about conventional sources?” she expressed her dissatisfaction to the fact that such discussions come at a time when her beautiful country (Uganda) and other countries have discovered the “flowing wealth”- Oil. She stressed further that the motion is very wrong, citing examples of developed countries and how they never gave up on conventional energy. “Their energy mix is still dominated by fossils fuels, look at the US - conventional energies are still prominent in their energy mix!”. Intermittency of RE is a very big issue, “Does the sun shine every day?”, she asked. Considering the high cost of the RE technologies, a poor continent like mother Africa can’t take that route for now. She drew examples from some of the developed countries in Africa, alluding how clearly their energy mix is dominated by conventional energy. “Africa is rich in RE resources but we need to think wiser”- she submitted and left the floor.The second speaker from the opposers; Mr. Cleus Bamutura, took over the floor. “It is true Africa has the resources, but listen to these humbling facts - Africa’s share on the world total energy consumption is only 5%. Total energy consumed by Africa in one year is consumed by china in one month.” The question should not be sole savior but rather optimization of the different energy sources the continent has at its disposal. Through this, Africa’s energy problems will become history in no time. Our focus should be on setting up resilient energy systems and handling them sustainably. He went ahead to point out the doubtable reliability of renewables citing that they are season dependent. He criticized the debate motion mentioning that, the focus should be on looking for better energy systems rather than limiting our options to one energy source RE as the sole savior. He stated that reasons for dependency on RE are more of sustainability than cost. He further criticized the funding from the organisations alluding how there are many strings attached and that Africa needs to move forward without that. “Yes, RE drives to a direction of access to energy but the question we should ask ourselves is, energy for what?”, he submitted. Rebuttal from proposersOn the floor came the speaker from proposers, Mr. Yunus Alokore. “Human beings never moved from stone age because they ran out of stones”. This was a reaction to the opposers consistent pointing to the availability of conventional energy in Africa and how we can’t ignore them in preference to RE. He defended solar energy by giving a range of other RE sources like Geothermal and Wind that can be harnessed in tandem to overcome the problem of intermittency. Underscoring the Wind potential in Africa being equivalent to the current total installed capacity, and geothermal potential estimated at 15GW. He concluded that intermittency of RE should not be an issue once Africa embarks entirely on RE. Reactions from the audienceThe audience was given a chance to participate in this very engaging session. A lot was said but the contentious issue was the two words “sole savior”. The different speakers from the audience directed a lot of focus on this as they claimed Africa is plagued with a plethora of problems facing the energy sector ranging from poor governance to food insecurity. And hence it would be terribly wrong to single out a solo issue RE as the sole savior of the continent’s energy problems. In a nutshell, the debate was educative, entertaining and very informative. All the participants were satisfied with the richness of the discussions that gave them a detailed insight into Africa’s energy situation, resources and scenarios as well as proposed solutions to curb energy problems in the continent. The entire PAUWES community is looking forward to the next one. As the editorial team, we take this opportunity to thank the entire community for making this a success. @Editorial_team
    Apr 28, 2016 1132
  • 31 Oct 2016
    Last week the first students in PAUWES graduated and it was a beautiful ceremony. 26 students who arrived in Algeria with an identity tied to their countries but who now leave thinking Africa. 26 engineers in the field of water and energy ready to take on the challenges that plague our continent. Congratulations are in order, you have done well and we wish you all the best as you move to the next phase. Dance to your rhythm and enjoy life! To mark this auspicious day I had my very good friend Masharia write a little something. He has away with words, so here goes!     You have all taught me that,Fresh air, Good conversation, And a room full of intellects, Can sway any mind,   I have been bent to believing, If there's even a slight chance To be successful or happy, Risk it.  Happiness is too rare   You have this one life, Do what feels good, Take risks. Be brave, And make yourself proud   By Masharia Kanyari https://mashariakanyari8895.wordpress.com/
    1119 Posted by Eva Kimonye
  • Last week the first students in PAUWES graduated and it was a beautiful ceremony. 26 students who arrived in Algeria with an identity tied to their countries but who now leave thinking Africa. 26 engineers in the field of water and energy ready to take on the challenges that plague our continent. Congratulations are in order, you have done well and we wish you all the best as you move to the next phase. Dance to your rhythm and enjoy life! To mark this auspicious day I had my very good friend Masharia write a little something. He has away with words, so here goes!     You have all taught me that,Fresh air, Good conversation, And a room full of intellects, Can sway any mind,   I have been bent to believing, If there's even a slight chance To be successful or happy, Risk it.  Happiness is too rare   You have this one life, Do what feels good, Take risks. Be brave, And make yourself proud   By Masharia Kanyari https://mashariakanyari8895.wordpress.com/
    Oct 31, 2016 1119
  • 10 Oct 2016
    I was thrilled after reading the International Renewable Energy Agency report on solar PV and its potential for full-scale investment in Africa. The report, published September 2016, indicated that rapid declining cost of the technology is likely to trigger a boom in the installation of solar PV in most parts of Africa. The report highlighted that the price of solar PV module had gone down to between USD 0.52 and USD 0.72/watt in 2015. Isn’t that good news? Not only the price of PV but the balance of system costs has also rapidly declined by a whopping 62% since 2009.  This has brought total installation costs to as low as USD 1.30/watt. The cost is projected to drop by another 52% by 2025. There are some promising projections on the Continent’s capability to invest in solar. IRENA predicts possibility of having a solar PV generation capacity of 70 GW by 2030. In addition, Africa receives more solar irradiation than some countries that have heavily invested in solar. For example, solar irradiation in Africa is 52% to 117% more than Germany although the country had an installed capacity of more than 40 GW by 2015 as indicated in the IRENA Renewables 2016 Global Status Report. The question now remains how we can turn the idea into reality. IRENA has indicated that a conducive environment with the right policies can lead to the achievement of the objective in the shortest time possible. This shows that the main emphasis is no longer about the cost, but about allowing the development to take place. Solar PV is unique as it has the potential to reach rural communities that are yet to be connected to the grid. Already, a number of countries have started initiatives aimed at improving energy access through solar. For instance, M-Kopa is a Kenyan initiative run by a private company that provides solar solutions through Pay-As-You-Go technology and services. Other private companies such as D.Light are also warming up to countries that have adequate regulations. It is also essential for young entrepreneurs throughout the African continent to warm up to the opportunity and create jobs as they push away energy poverty.   I urge you to consider the independence of being able to produce your own clean energy that minimizes or totally eliminates dependence on the grid.  I believe it is time to embrace solar energy for grid, off-grid, mini-grid, and hybrid electrification solutions. Cover photo: Courtesy Rwanda Solar Project 8.5 MW east of the capital Kigali
    1077 Posted by Eric Akumu
  • I was thrilled after reading the International Renewable Energy Agency report on solar PV and its potential for full-scale investment in Africa. The report, published September 2016, indicated that rapid declining cost of the technology is likely to trigger a boom in the installation of solar PV in most parts of Africa. The report highlighted that the price of solar PV module had gone down to between USD 0.52 and USD 0.72/watt in 2015. Isn’t that good news? Not only the price of PV but the balance of system costs has also rapidly declined by a whopping 62% since 2009.  This has brought total installation costs to as low as USD 1.30/watt. The cost is projected to drop by another 52% by 2025. There are some promising projections on the Continent’s capability to invest in solar. IRENA predicts possibility of having a solar PV generation capacity of 70 GW by 2030. In addition, Africa receives more solar irradiation than some countries that have heavily invested in solar. For example, solar irradiation in Africa is 52% to 117% more than Germany although the country had an installed capacity of more than 40 GW by 2015 as indicated in the IRENA Renewables 2016 Global Status Report. The question now remains how we can turn the idea into reality. IRENA has indicated that a conducive environment with the right policies can lead to the achievement of the objective in the shortest time possible. This shows that the main emphasis is no longer about the cost, but about allowing the development to take place. Solar PV is unique as it has the potential to reach rural communities that are yet to be connected to the grid. Already, a number of countries have started initiatives aimed at improving energy access through solar. For instance, M-Kopa is a Kenyan initiative run by a private company that provides solar solutions through Pay-As-You-Go technology and services. Other private companies such as D.Light are also warming up to countries that have adequate regulations. It is also essential for young entrepreneurs throughout the African continent to warm up to the opportunity and create jobs as they push away energy poverty.   I urge you to consider the independence of being able to produce your own clean energy that minimizes or totally eliminates dependence on the grid.  I believe it is time to embrace solar energy for grid, off-grid, mini-grid, and hybrid electrification solutions. Cover photo: Courtesy Rwanda Solar Project 8.5 MW east of the capital Kigali
    Oct 10, 2016 1077
  • 01 Jun 2016
    Human beings have a tendency of misusing resources when they are available in abundance but is it a culture? Have you ever had something and you ended up misusing it just because you knew you had it in plenty? Let me go deeper and ask, have you ever mistreated someone just because you thought they would never leave? It is unfortunately human nature to do so. Just look around and see the way people utilize resources. Look at how some leader’s abuse funds to how some companies mistreat interns/entry level employees by overworking while underpaying them. Let’s hit close to home and look at our daily habits. Every human has that one habit of misusing something just because they have it in abundance, be it adding an extra tea spoon of sugar just because you can afford to buy another packet, impulse buying accessories just because you can afford them or leaving the water tap running while you brush your teeth. Is it beginning to make sense and have you ever wondered why? Well for the better part of my youth, I didn’t bother to ask myself why. Resources were willingly and readily provided by my parents, whom I really appreciate and respect for doing so. This attitude however changed when I cleared my high school. In my culture, once you went through your rights of passage, you were expected to fend for yourself. Luckily shelter and food were provided but other expenses, such as leisure activities, be it going out with my palls to buying airtime, I had to sort myself. This meant that the little I made from my small hustle had to be utilized efficiently because I didn’t know when I would get my next pay. Being young, all out to have fun and fact that I was born and raised in the city of Nairobi, Kenya where without money one cannot “survive” meant that I had to come up with innovative ways to make money. It became a case of necessity being the mother of all invention. Fast forward to university and post university: I consider myself blessed to have done my industrial attachments, internships and gained some work experience as an engineer in multinational FCMG industries where I saw the impact of efficiency first hand on a personal, company and economic level. On a personal level, efficiency was important in terms of proper time management. On a company level, I happen to have been involved in some projects that improved on both energy and systems efficiency, subsequently seeing the company’s operation costs reduce by a significant percentage resulting to higher profit margins. On an economic level, well, it is obvious to state that the higher the profit margin, the higher the plough back which led to increased employment opportunities due to the expansion of the industry and higher direct tax paid to the government. So this brings me to the question, could our poor emphasis on efficient use of resources be one of the many reasons why Africa is still lagging behind in terms of clean energy access? I believe that this is definitely one of the reasons. Look at it from this point of view – Kenya, my homeland, has a Vision 2022 to increase electricity generation to over 5,000MW mostly from renewables. So as to achieve this target, the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum comes up with a budget annually. In this budget we find allocations in expanding both the electricity generation and distribution infrastructure. Well that’s awesome because it is evident that there is a strong correlation between clean energy access i.e. electricity and better quality of life. But here is the issue - currently, it is approximated that the loss of energy through waste and inefficiency ranges between 10%-30% of primary energy input across all the sectors in the country. If we consider that there is currently a total installed capacity of 2,295 MW, it would mean that 230MW-690MW is lost due to inefficiency across the distribution and utilization system. This is sad because if Kenya was more energy efficient, we would save on the capital intensive electricity generation infrastructure required to generate a similar capacity and divert the capital to more wanting sectors like the health sector. It will be even sadder if Kenya continues with this inefficiency trend while working towards the 5000MW target. Just to add insult to injury, according to the Kenya Association of Manufacturers, Kenya’s industrial sector has an energy saving potential of US$ 20 Million annually. This means that the US$ 20M is literally going down the drain. I’m sure if Kenya were to attain proper efficiencies, such kind of money could be enough to set up a new processing industry every year and create thousands of jobs directly and indirectly. So how can we promote this culture of using energy efficiently so as to improve on sustainability? Well, there are many ways to tackle this bad habit of inefficiency. One can take a zoomed out system approach and figure out why this inefficiency culture exists. For my argument, I choose to take a human use (demand side management) approach because I believe that in any system, a change in human behavior is the basic foundation for any logical change. In other words, if I may use computer science terms, humans are the ones who control whether it will be ‘Garbage In, Garbage Out’ or ‘Gold In, Gold Out’. Step one is change from within. There is a saying I once read that if you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. Well look at energy efficiency as an opportunity to conserve the scarce resource so that one more person can have the opportunity to be connected to the National Grid. If you are more money minded like I am, take this as an opportunity to reduce on your utilities bills. Second step is to pass this habit of efficiency to the people around you by being an efficiency ambassador. You can throw in a few sensitization posters and meetings but the most effective way that has been proven to work, is through action. Actions speak louder than words. Through simple actions such as shutting off a dripping tap, switching off a light on a well-lit day while in the company of people or even offering to car pool to and from work with colleagues, you will make them realize that they are wasteful and that it’s their personal responsibility to ensure that resources are used efficiently. Sooner or later, through such continuous efforts the habit of conservation and efficiency will rub off on them. Third step is to incorporate energy efficiency technologies in your day to day operations. This is a way of handling the old dogs who cannot be taught new tricks. There are those around you who will, either willingly or unwillingly, not take up this energy efficiency habit. One will therefore have to find a way to conserve and efficiently use the energy either way. Approaches that can be used for such cases include installation of LED lighting, use of photocell sensors to turn on lights only when it is dark, motion and occupancy sensors to put on lights only when someone is in the room and push taps to dispense water for a specified time interval. If you are in a work place setting, encourage the management to adapt the building to be more energy efficient by taking advantage of natural resources for ventilation and lighting, solar lighting and heating. In an industrial setting, encourage the use of more efficient boilers, premium efficiency motors, and use of common means of transportation i.e. Staff bus instead of personal cars. This will definitely involve some high initial costs but the payback will be worth it due to savings made. Consequent steps will involve continuous improvement. Just like my secondary school teacher once told me, always ensure you are better than your previous assignment. Make sure you don’t give up and keep pushing to ensure energy efficiency around you is realized. As the saying goes, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Be bold enough to make the world a better place by embracing efficiency as a first step in ensuring sustainable living.
  • Human beings have a tendency of misusing resources when they are available in abundance but is it a culture? Have you ever had something and you ended up misusing it just because you knew you had it in plenty? Let me go deeper and ask, have you ever mistreated someone just because you thought they would never leave? It is unfortunately human nature to do so. Just look around and see the way people utilize resources. Look at how some leader’s abuse funds to how some companies mistreat interns/entry level employees by overworking while underpaying them. Let’s hit close to home and look at our daily habits. Every human has that one habit of misusing something just because they have it in abundance, be it adding an extra tea spoon of sugar just because you can afford to buy another packet, impulse buying accessories just because you can afford them or leaving the water tap running while you brush your teeth. Is it beginning to make sense and have you ever wondered why? Well for the better part of my youth, I didn’t bother to ask myself why. Resources were willingly and readily provided by my parents, whom I really appreciate and respect for doing so. This attitude however changed when I cleared my high school. In my culture, once you went through your rights of passage, you were expected to fend for yourself. Luckily shelter and food were provided but other expenses, such as leisure activities, be it going out with my palls to buying airtime, I had to sort myself. This meant that the little I made from my small hustle had to be utilized efficiently because I didn’t know when I would get my next pay. Being young, all out to have fun and fact that I was born and raised in the city of Nairobi, Kenya where without money one cannot “survive” meant that I had to come up with innovative ways to make money. It became a case of necessity being the mother of all invention. Fast forward to university and post university: I consider myself blessed to have done my industrial attachments, internships and gained some work experience as an engineer in multinational FCMG industries where I saw the impact of efficiency first hand on a personal, company and economic level. On a personal level, efficiency was important in terms of proper time management. On a company level, I happen to have been involved in some projects that improved on both energy and systems efficiency, subsequently seeing the company’s operation costs reduce by a significant percentage resulting to higher profit margins. On an economic level, well, it is obvious to state that the higher the profit margin, the higher the plough back which led to increased employment opportunities due to the expansion of the industry and higher direct tax paid to the government. So this brings me to the question, could our poor emphasis on efficient use of resources be one of the many reasons why Africa is still lagging behind in terms of clean energy access? I believe that this is definitely one of the reasons. Look at it from this point of view – Kenya, my homeland, has a Vision 2022 to increase electricity generation to over 5,000MW mostly from renewables. So as to achieve this target, the Ministry of Energy and Petroleum comes up with a budget annually. In this budget we find allocations in expanding both the electricity generation and distribution infrastructure. Well that’s awesome because it is evident that there is a strong correlation between clean energy access i.e. electricity and better quality of life. But here is the issue - currently, it is approximated that the loss of energy through waste and inefficiency ranges between 10%-30% of primary energy input across all the sectors in the country. If we consider that there is currently a total installed capacity of 2,295 MW, it would mean that 230MW-690MW is lost due to inefficiency across the distribution and utilization system. This is sad because if Kenya was more energy efficient, we would save on the capital intensive electricity generation infrastructure required to generate a similar capacity and divert the capital to more wanting sectors like the health sector. It will be even sadder if Kenya continues with this inefficiency trend while working towards the 5000MW target. Just to add insult to injury, according to the Kenya Association of Manufacturers, Kenya’s industrial sector has an energy saving potential of US$ 20 Million annually. This means that the US$ 20M is literally going down the drain. I’m sure if Kenya were to attain proper efficiencies, such kind of money could be enough to set up a new processing industry every year and create thousands of jobs directly and indirectly. So how can we promote this culture of using energy efficiently so as to improve on sustainability? Well, there are many ways to tackle this bad habit of inefficiency. One can take a zoomed out system approach and figure out why this inefficiency culture exists. For my argument, I choose to take a human use (demand side management) approach because I believe that in any system, a change in human behavior is the basic foundation for any logical change. In other words, if I may use computer science terms, humans are the ones who control whether it will be ‘Garbage In, Garbage Out’ or ‘Gold In, Gold Out’. Step one is change from within. There is a saying I once read that if you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. Well look at energy efficiency as an opportunity to conserve the scarce resource so that one more person can have the opportunity to be connected to the National Grid. If you are more money minded like I am, take this as an opportunity to reduce on your utilities bills. Second step is to pass this habit of efficiency to the people around you by being an efficiency ambassador. You can throw in a few sensitization posters and meetings but the most effective way that has been proven to work, is through action. Actions speak louder than words. Through simple actions such as shutting off a dripping tap, switching off a light on a well-lit day while in the company of people or even offering to car pool to and from work with colleagues, you will make them realize that they are wasteful and that it’s their personal responsibility to ensure that resources are used efficiently. Sooner or later, through such continuous efforts the habit of conservation and efficiency will rub off on them. Third step is to incorporate energy efficiency technologies in your day to day operations. This is a way of handling the old dogs who cannot be taught new tricks. There are those around you who will, either willingly or unwillingly, not take up this energy efficiency habit. One will therefore have to find a way to conserve and efficiently use the energy either way. Approaches that can be used for such cases include installation of LED lighting, use of photocell sensors to turn on lights only when it is dark, motion and occupancy sensors to put on lights only when someone is in the room and push taps to dispense water for a specified time interval. If you are in a work place setting, encourage the management to adapt the building to be more energy efficient by taking advantage of natural resources for ventilation and lighting, solar lighting and heating. In an industrial setting, encourage the use of more efficient boilers, premium efficiency motors, and use of common means of transportation i.e. Staff bus instead of personal cars. This will definitely involve some high initial costs but the payback will be worth it due to savings made. Consequent steps will involve continuous improvement. Just like my secondary school teacher once told me, always ensure you are better than your previous assignment. Make sure you don’t give up and keep pushing to ensure energy efficiency around you is realized. As the saying goes, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Be bold enough to make the world a better place by embracing efficiency as a first step in ensuring sustainable living.
    Jun 01, 2016 1044
  • 08 Sep 2016
    Sitting behind my broken laptop, pressing the back space key on the key board………… I trust you know what it does. I paused for a moment and imagined, if only everything could be transformed to be as easy as pressing the back space key to erase something and then replace with what you want, life would be the best thing ever - I mean it is still the best thing but it would be more than that. More time would be saved, more money would be made, more networks would be created and most importantly better innovations would be exhibited by man in problem solving. Just imagine what you can do with an extra hour a day! The world today blames politics for most of the things that are going wrong and a lot of hopes are put in politicians to still come up with solutions. News flash! It is not going to happen. Politics will probably help to solve some of the problems but you know what it will not do, it will not call a taxicab for you but UBER will, politics will not connect you to 5000 friends but Facebook will, it will not help you build your professional network but amazingly LinkedIn will. I can go on and on to tell you apps that have changed the world in some way but that’s not the point. The point is, politics will not solve the world problems but rather a bunch of serious smart guys who will sit down to reimagine the solutions to the problems you and I face, in a technological way, will solve the world problems. Do these guys have to come from Mars? Of course not! (I remember growing up in my beautiful country, they used to tell us stories about green people – did they ever exist?). The people who will sit down to reimagine technological solutions to the problems we face today are “You and I”. Just a couple of steps and we will be good to go. Identify a problem, suggest a solution, brainstorm about it, set goals and things will start moving. It’s not easy is what we all say but hey, nothing is easy, wait when you are suffering from constipation – you will know that even giving a little shit is not easy sometimes. Looking at all the people we call the greatest in the field of technology, I don’t know what you think of them but I will tell you what I think, they are humans like you and I. They make mistakes like us and also have fears like we do. What makes them special is, they took the first step which you can do now, or as they say in French, “maintenant”. Zuckerberg founded Facebook from his dorm room, you can start up something from your hostel too! Bill Gates left school to go solve problems through his technological innovations. Remember, he did not just leave school but HARVARD.My friend, are you going to sit back and wait for politics to solve the world problems? Or like Bolt, you are going to wait for the start sign to get started? We must not sit and become spectators of events of our time, we must become the events our time. Let’s drive Africa towards the world of technology, let’s drive the world.    
    1034 Posted by Tonny Kukeera
  • Sitting behind my broken laptop, pressing the back space key on the key board………… I trust you know what it does. I paused for a moment and imagined, if only everything could be transformed to be as easy as pressing the back space key to erase something and then replace with what you want, life would be the best thing ever - I mean it is still the best thing but it would be more than that. More time would be saved, more money would be made, more networks would be created and most importantly better innovations would be exhibited by man in problem solving. Just imagine what you can do with an extra hour a day! The world today blames politics for most of the things that are going wrong and a lot of hopes are put in politicians to still come up with solutions. News flash! It is not going to happen. Politics will probably help to solve some of the problems but you know what it will not do, it will not call a taxicab for you but UBER will, politics will not connect you to 5000 friends but Facebook will, it will not help you build your professional network but amazingly LinkedIn will. I can go on and on to tell you apps that have changed the world in some way but that’s not the point. The point is, politics will not solve the world problems but rather a bunch of serious smart guys who will sit down to reimagine the solutions to the problems you and I face, in a technological way, will solve the world problems. Do these guys have to come from Mars? Of course not! (I remember growing up in my beautiful country, they used to tell us stories about green people – did they ever exist?). The people who will sit down to reimagine technological solutions to the problems we face today are “You and I”. Just a couple of steps and we will be good to go. Identify a problem, suggest a solution, brainstorm about it, set goals and things will start moving. It’s not easy is what we all say but hey, nothing is easy, wait when you are suffering from constipation – you will know that even giving a little shit is not easy sometimes. Looking at all the people we call the greatest in the field of technology, I don’t know what you think of them but I will tell you what I think, they are humans like you and I. They make mistakes like us and also have fears like we do. What makes them special is, they took the first step which you can do now, or as they say in French, “maintenant”. Zuckerberg founded Facebook from his dorm room, you can start up something from your hostel too! Bill Gates left school to go solve problems through his technological innovations. Remember, he did not just leave school but HARVARD.My friend, are you going to sit back and wait for politics to solve the world problems? Or like Bolt, you are going to wait for the start sign to get started? We must not sit and become spectators of events of our time, we must become the events our time. Let’s drive Africa towards the world of technology, let’s drive the world.    
    Sep 08, 2016 1034
  • 22 Apr 2016
    The event started with introductory speeches from the different dignitaries including the PAUWES director, Professor Abdelatif Zerga. The main points that were mentioned in the speeches included energy issues in Africa, how researchers can establish strong links with the private sector and sustainability of energy projects through capacity building. It was an intriguing session, as speakers went on to give their unbiased views about energy issues in Africa pointing out their experiences in the different African countries. It got more interesting when the representatives from the private sector started challenging researchers. They were alleging that researchers do a lot of research that never materialize yet the private sector is interested in lucrative opportunities. “Private companies are not donor agencies” said Ms. Kagina after researchers were talking about insufficient and hard to get funding from the Private sector. She stressed further that, researchers focus a lot on paper publishing other than money making. "What’s research without publishing papers?”, asked one researcher. The discussion continued along the line of finding a holistic and common ground where research not only enriches knowledge of researchers but also directly impact on people’s lives on ground. In this way, the funding can be easy to win.Session 2 This session was fully packed with educative presentations from the different researchers that had attended the symposium. Among the presentations was one for a sizing analysis of a Linear Fresnel Solar. A Linear Fresnel solar is a solar technology that involves the use of mirrors (reflectors) known as Fresnel to focus the irradiations from the sun onto a fixed absorber located at a common focal point of the reflectors. These mirrors are capable of concentrating the sun’s energy to approximately 30 times its normal intensity. In the presentation, the researcher stated that four locations were considered namely; Hassi R'mel, Tamanrasset, Beni-Abbes, and El Oued, all in Algeria. It was found out that performance calculations hence sizing, varies from site to site with the Direct Normal Radiation (DNI). The presentation that followed was about thermodynamic modelling of thermal energy storage systems. In this, a methodology for comparing thermal energy storage technologies to electrochemical, chemical and mechanical energy storage technologies was presented. “The underlying physics of this model is hinged on the development of a round trip efficiency formulation for these systems”, stated the researcher. He added, “The charging and discharging processes of compressed air energy storage, flywheel energy storage, fuel cells, and batteries are well understood and defined from a physics standpoint in the context of comparing these systems. However, the challenge lays in comparing the charging process of these systems with the charging process of thermal energy storage systems for concentrating solar power plants (CSP).” The rationale behind the presenter’s analysis was to develop an electrical storage efficiency for molten salt thermal energy storage systems, such that it can be compared to battery energy storage technologies in the context of comparing CSP with thermal energy storage to solar photovoltaic with battery storage from a utility scale perspective. The results from the modelling using Andasol 3 CSP plant as a case study yielded a storage efficiency of 86% and LCOE of $216/ MWh. With these findings he anticipated that a thermal energy storage roadmap for the future generation will be facilitated. The 3rd presentation was about analyzing the best algorithm for a Heliostat Field Layout. A heliostat is a device that includes a mirror, usually a plane mirror, which turns so as to keep reflecting sunlight toward a predetermined target thereby compensating the sun’s apparent motions in the sky. The presenter showed the different state of art Heliostat field layout arrangements and the amount of radiation they can capture. The experiment was carried out using a simulation software. The results of the simulation indicated that all the analyzed layout generation algorithms give approximately similar solar field efficiencies when compared for the considered scenarios once they are optimized. More events followed on the different days, a series of highlights will be posted under this heading. @Editorial_team
    1033 Posted by Tonny Kukeera
  • The event started with introductory speeches from the different dignitaries including the PAUWES director, Professor Abdelatif Zerga. The main points that were mentioned in the speeches included energy issues in Africa, how researchers can establish strong links with the private sector and sustainability of energy projects through capacity building. It was an intriguing session, as speakers went on to give their unbiased views about energy issues in Africa pointing out their experiences in the different African countries. It got more interesting when the representatives from the private sector started challenging researchers. They were alleging that researchers do a lot of research that never materialize yet the private sector is interested in lucrative opportunities. “Private companies are not donor agencies” said Ms. Kagina after researchers were talking about insufficient and hard to get funding from the Private sector. She stressed further that, researchers focus a lot on paper publishing other than money making. "What’s research without publishing papers?”, asked one researcher. The discussion continued along the line of finding a holistic and common ground where research not only enriches knowledge of researchers but also directly impact on people’s lives on ground. In this way, the funding can be easy to win.Session 2 This session was fully packed with educative presentations from the different researchers that had attended the symposium. Among the presentations was one for a sizing analysis of a Linear Fresnel Solar. A Linear Fresnel solar is a solar technology that involves the use of mirrors (reflectors) known as Fresnel to focus the irradiations from the sun onto a fixed absorber located at a common focal point of the reflectors. These mirrors are capable of concentrating the sun’s energy to approximately 30 times its normal intensity. In the presentation, the researcher stated that four locations were considered namely; Hassi R'mel, Tamanrasset, Beni-Abbes, and El Oued, all in Algeria. It was found out that performance calculations hence sizing, varies from site to site with the Direct Normal Radiation (DNI). The presentation that followed was about thermodynamic modelling of thermal energy storage systems. In this, a methodology for comparing thermal energy storage technologies to electrochemical, chemical and mechanical energy storage technologies was presented. “The underlying physics of this model is hinged on the development of a round trip efficiency formulation for these systems”, stated the researcher. He added, “The charging and discharging processes of compressed air energy storage, flywheel energy storage, fuel cells, and batteries are well understood and defined from a physics standpoint in the context of comparing these systems. However, the challenge lays in comparing the charging process of these systems with the charging process of thermal energy storage systems for concentrating solar power plants (CSP).” The rationale behind the presenter’s analysis was to develop an electrical storage efficiency for molten salt thermal energy storage systems, such that it can be compared to battery energy storage technologies in the context of comparing CSP with thermal energy storage to solar photovoltaic with battery storage from a utility scale perspective. The results from the modelling using Andasol 3 CSP plant as a case study yielded a storage efficiency of 86% and LCOE of $216/ MWh. With these findings he anticipated that a thermal energy storage roadmap for the future generation will be facilitated. The 3rd presentation was about analyzing the best algorithm for a Heliostat Field Layout. A heliostat is a device that includes a mirror, usually a plane mirror, which turns so as to keep reflecting sunlight toward a predetermined target thereby compensating the sun’s apparent motions in the sky. The presenter showed the different state of art Heliostat field layout arrangements and the amount of radiation they can capture. The experiment was carried out using a simulation software. The results of the simulation indicated that all the analyzed layout generation algorithms give approximately similar solar field efficiencies when compared for the considered scenarios once they are optimized. More events followed on the different days, a series of highlights will be posted under this heading. @Editorial_team
    Apr 22, 2016 1033
  • 13 Jun 2016
    I have enjoyed the last couple of days off from class and I am now mentally rested and ready to finish the next two modules and get a start on the summer holidays as I am sure most of you are. I am glad to report I finished my reading on a few books that have been pending and I also had time to watch the CIS Cyber Crime series. I have always known that danger lurks in the web and online privacy is more of an illusion than it is real, but watching this series drove the point home. I am sure they add some theatrics and drama to make the plot more interesting but the message cannot be ignored. We have built our lives around wireless and wired connections and very few of us give second thought to the dangers we are exposing ourselves to or our loved ones.    Cybercrimes are offences committed over the web. There are many types of cyber crimes ranging from theft, terrorism, stalking, bullying, identity theft, malicious software, child grooming and abuse and hacking among many others. One may argue that these crimes are only common in the west but it is happening in Africa as well. Cyber criminals consider Africa as an opportune place to commit their criminal activities majorly because of the high number of domains coupled with weak network and information security. The legislation to tackle cyber crime is also non-existent in most African countries which provide a safe haven for criminals within and beyond our borders.   In Africa Nigeria is the largest target and source of malicious internet activities and the trend is quickly spreading to other countries in West Africa. The rest of Africa has not been spared especially in the large economic hubs like Nairobi, Cairo, and Johannesburg where criminal activities on the web such as fraudulent financial transactions and child kidnapping are on the rise. There is proof that terrorist activities organized by Boko Haram in Nigeria, Alshabaab in Somalia and Kenya have been coordinated and planned over the web. Take for example the West gate attack in Kenya where 67 people lost their lives and cost the economy an estimated $200 million in tourism revenue. A study carried out by the International Data Group Connect estimates that annually, cybercrimes cost the South African economy $573 million, the Nigeria economy $200 million and $36 million to the Kenyan economy.   If you go through the web you will come across numerous stories of people whose lives have been changed because they were victims of cyber crimes. There are heartbreaking stories of women and men who have lost their entire fortune to cons on the internet. Homes have been broken into and assault or murder committed because someone thought it was a good idea to post their where about or home address online. Parents have been victims of their children’s photographs being stolen from social sites and posted on adult sites. Children have been bullied relentlessly on the web and some have ended their lives as a result. People have reported being watched by stalkers for months without their knowledge on their webcams. Heinous acts such as child grooming by pedophiles and human traffickers are a daily occurrence and yet most of us continue to share every moment of our lives with careless abandon.   I am not here to scare you (maybe a little) or preach against the internet and the various platforms it offers, heaven knows we continue to reap numerous benefits from the easy connectivity it gives. What I want is for all of us to be conscious of what we post and share and with whom and on what platform. We are guilty of agreeing to terms and conditions on websites so that we can start using their services without carefully reading their privacy regulations. Every time we post something online or disclose our location we are leaving a trail or footprint that can be used to harm us. I will give you an easy example; go to your Facebook or Instagram account or any other social account you may have and look at the number of “friends” you have. How many of these people do you really know and yet you give a chronicle of your life to them every single day.     Some of the most practical and easy ways suggested by INTERPOL on how you can ensure online safety are keeping your computer safe from viruses, opening attachments from only contacts you trust, being cautious about public wireless connections, keeping your spam filter switched on among many others at your disposal on their website. The internet is here to stay and our need for it will only grow but what we can do is taking it upon ourselves to ensure that our privacy and that of our loved ones is not defiled and realizing with time not every moment needs to be shared with the world.
    1000 Posted by Eva Kimonye
  • I have enjoyed the last couple of days off from class and I am now mentally rested and ready to finish the next two modules and get a start on the summer holidays as I am sure most of you are. I am glad to report I finished my reading on a few books that have been pending and I also had time to watch the CIS Cyber Crime series. I have always known that danger lurks in the web and online privacy is more of an illusion than it is real, but watching this series drove the point home. I am sure they add some theatrics and drama to make the plot more interesting but the message cannot be ignored. We have built our lives around wireless and wired connections and very few of us give second thought to the dangers we are exposing ourselves to or our loved ones.    Cybercrimes are offences committed over the web. There are many types of cyber crimes ranging from theft, terrorism, stalking, bullying, identity theft, malicious software, child grooming and abuse and hacking among many others. One may argue that these crimes are only common in the west but it is happening in Africa as well. Cyber criminals consider Africa as an opportune place to commit their criminal activities majorly because of the high number of domains coupled with weak network and information security. The legislation to tackle cyber crime is also non-existent in most African countries which provide a safe haven for criminals within and beyond our borders.   In Africa Nigeria is the largest target and source of malicious internet activities and the trend is quickly spreading to other countries in West Africa. The rest of Africa has not been spared especially in the large economic hubs like Nairobi, Cairo, and Johannesburg where criminal activities on the web such as fraudulent financial transactions and child kidnapping are on the rise. There is proof that terrorist activities organized by Boko Haram in Nigeria, Alshabaab in Somalia and Kenya have been coordinated and planned over the web. Take for example the West gate attack in Kenya where 67 people lost their lives and cost the economy an estimated $200 million in tourism revenue. A study carried out by the International Data Group Connect estimates that annually, cybercrimes cost the South African economy $573 million, the Nigeria economy $200 million and $36 million to the Kenyan economy.   If you go through the web you will come across numerous stories of people whose lives have been changed because they were victims of cyber crimes. There are heartbreaking stories of women and men who have lost their entire fortune to cons on the internet. Homes have been broken into and assault or murder committed because someone thought it was a good idea to post their where about or home address online. Parents have been victims of their children’s photographs being stolen from social sites and posted on adult sites. Children have been bullied relentlessly on the web and some have ended their lives as a result. People have reported being watched by stalkers for months without their knowledge on their webcams. Heinous acts such as child grooming by pedophiles and human traffickers are a daily occurrence and yet most of us continue to share every moment of our lives with careless abandon.   I am not here to scare you (maybe a little) or preach against the internet and the various platforms it offers, heaven knows we continue to reap numerous benefits from the easy connectivity it gives. What I want is for all of us to be conscious of what we post and share and with whom and on what platform. We are guilty of agreeing to terms and conditions on websites so that we can start using their services without carefully reading their privacy regulations. Every time we post something online or disclose our location we are leaving a trail or footprint that can be used to harm us. I will give you an easy example; go to your Facebook or Instagram account or any other social account you may have and look at the number of “friends” you have. How many of these people do you really know and yet you give a chronicle of your life to them every single day.     Some of the most practical and easy ways suggested by INTERPOL on how you can ensure online safety are keeping your computer safe from viruses, opening attachments from only contacts you trust, being cautious about public wireless connections, keeping your spam filter switched on among many others at your disposal on their website. The internet is here to stay and our need for it will only grow but what we can do is taking it upon ourselves to ensure that our privacy and that of our loved ones is not defiled and realizing with time not every moment needs to be shared with the world.
    Jun 13, 2016 1000
  • 11 Jul 2016
    This is going to be a quick one mostly because I am worn out and it is almost time to board my flight. It is past midnight and as I sit here in the waiting lounge I am hit by memories of when we were all here together. I can almost hear the voices and see where each of us sat last time we were here. Good memories those are. There is always comfort travelling in numbers because you know you have something to fall back on. This time I am travelling alone and I am both excited and a bit anxious to be doing this. I always look at such trips as a challenge to get out of my social shell and expand my networks and build on my communication skills and explore. That said this trip has been a long time coming and I have learnt so much along the way I thought I should share some of the lessons; The most important lesson is surrounding yourself with positive people. I have to confess that there are times I wondered if all the effort was worth it but I have two very important positive ladies in my life that would not let me give up midway. We are all filled with doubt once in a while but when we surround ourselves with positive people who believe in us and our abilities we can feed off their positive energy until we believe it ourselves. We need to form strong friendships that not only feed our emotional needs but also those that push us to greatness. I also came to realize that most times we do not receive because we never ask. We are so scared of what people are going to think or the correctness of our questions that we end up missing great opportunities. There are so many people willing to help us and hold our hand that all we need to do is ask. Sometimes the answer will be no but eventually a resounding yes will come our way down the line. We have to be willing to take that risk though by making ourselves vulnerable and putting our pride aside and asking for help. We are living in an age where there is so much evil going on that sometimes we forget the human goodness that surround us. I have been a recipient of kindness these past few months and it has completely blown my mind. There are so many people who have gone out of their way, friends and strangers that without them all this could not have been possible. It is heartwarming to be on the receiving end of such acts and I hope I can pay it forward. I think we will never realize what is on offer unless we ask. We have to show consistency in our commitment and reach out to those who have used the road before us. Life is a give and take and it is beautiful when you get to walk it with likeminded people cheering you on.
    990 Posted by Eva Kimonye
  • This is going to be a quick one mostly because I am worn out and it is almost time to board my flight. It is past midnight and as I sit here in the waiting lounge I am hit by memories of when we were all here together. I can almost hear the voices and see where each of us sat last time we were here. Good memories those are. There is always comfort travelling in numbers because you know you have something to fall back on. This time I am travelling alone and I am both excited and a bit anxious to be doing this. I always look at such trips as a challenge to get out of my social shell and expand my networks and build on my communication skills and explore. That said this trip has been a long time coming and I have learnt so much along the way I thought I should share some of the lessons; The most important lesson is surrounding yourself with positive people. I have to confess that there are times I wondered if all the effort was worth it but I have two very important positive ladies in my life that would not let me give up midway. We are all filled with doubt once in a while but when we surround ourselves with positive people who believe in us and our abilities we can feed off their positive energy until we believe it ourselves. We need to form strong friendships that not only feed our emotional needs but also those that push us to greatness. I also came to realize that most times we do not receive because we never ask. We are so scared of what people are going to think or the correctness of our questions that we end up missing great opportunities. There are so many people willing to help us and hold our hand that all we need to do is ask. Sometimes the answer will be no but eventually a resounding yes will come our way down the line. We have to be willing to take that risk though by making ourselves vulnerable and putting our pride aside and asking for help. We are living in an age where there is so much evil going on that sometimes we forget the human goodness that surround us. I have been a recipient of kindness these past few months and it has completely blown my mind. There are so many people who have gone out of their way, friends and strangers that without them all this could not have been possible. It is heartwarming to be on the receiving end of such acts and I hope I can pay it forward. I think we will never realize what is on offer unless we ask. We have to show consistency in our commitment and reach out to those who have used the road before us. Life is a give and take and it is beautiful when you get to walk it with likeminded people cheering you on.
    Jul 11, 2016 990
  • 01 Aug 2016
    Kenya is situated in Eastern Africa and lies across the equator. Most of Kenya’s water originates from the five water towers namely Mount Kenya, Mau forest, Aberdare ranges, Mount Elgon and Cherengani hills (NEMA, 2010). Kenya also shares a number of rivers and lakes with other countries for example Lake Victoria and Ewaso Ng’iro which is part of the larger Shebelle-Juba basin. According to the Food and Agricultural Organization 2014, the country’s total renewable water resources are 30.7km3 with water scarcity index of 674.043 m3 per capita significantly below the 1,000 m3 per capita marker for water scarcity. This means that Kenya is a water scarce country.Kenya, like any developing country faces water challenges which hinder the provision water and sanitation to its people. These challenges are both current and future as discussed;   Rapid population growth: Kenya’s population has doubled over the last 25 years and according to United Nations projections it is expected to grow by one million per year over the next 40 years and reach about 85 Million in 2050. The current water scarcity per capita is at 674.043 m3 per year and is likely to drop to 359 m3 per year by 2020 as a result of population growth. This not only presents a challenge in access to water but also a blink outlook in the future. With the rapid increase in the population more pressure is put on the finite resource. This means there is and will be more mounting demand on water for domestic use, industrial and agricultural purposes. This threatens the present and future county’s ability to meet the fundamental water needs of the people, water for economic development and environmental protection.   Ineffective water resources management: According to the Government of Kenya’s National development Report 2006, Kenya’s water resources have been mismanaged through unsustainable water and land use policies, laws and institutions, rapid population growth and increased degradation of rivers, lakes and wetlands and their catchments. The government budget allocation to water development and management has been affected since over 51% of the budget is allocated to recurring costs and expenditure. There have therefore been insufficient funds to allocate water, police illegal water extractions and obstructions and monitor water pollution. This is both a current and future problem unless the budget allocation trend is changed.   There are also gender disparities between men and women in water resource management in Kenya. Women are responsible for multiple uses of water resources and principle decision makers regarding its domestic and sanitation uses and yet more often than not men control this resource and make major decisions related to its allocation and type of facilities available (Wambu Charles.K, 2015). Women are not fully involved in formulation of water policies, public discussions and in community and national water committees. For example interventions such as irrigations fail to consider the gender dynamics in land ownership rights, labour force and income. High level of women illiteracy rates in rural Kenya also hinders women in participation of water project planning and management.   Forest degradation: According to the United Nations illegal encroachment have reduced Kenya’s forest cover from 12% to 1.2%. Rivers and lakes have shrunk as a result affecting access of water. One of the forest complex adversely affected is the Mau Forest complex. The water shed feeds 12 rivers and hydroelectric dams downstream and replenishes the famous wildlife preserves of Maasai Mara and Serengeti in Tanzania. Unfortunately, loggers and farmers have destroyed up to 400,000 hectares of forested land (Marshall, June,2011). This has led to increased run off and flash floods in the towns neighbouring the forest. For example in 2015 heavy rainfall in the Mau forest led to heavy flooding in Narok county resulting into the loss of life and destruction of private property. The Narok case is not unique and heavy rainfall in other parts of the country has led to erosion from cleared forest cover, poorly maintained agricultural land leading to accelerated siltation and loss of storage capacity in the country’s storage dams and pans. Out of the estimated 3,200 dams and pans countrywide, between 80% and 90% have lost at least 50% of their expected economic life from siltation (Hezron Mogaka, 2006).   Climate variability: Many parts of Africa, Kenya included are experiencing high variability in rainfall and frequent occurrences of flooding and drought with the latter causing drying of surface water resources. For example Kenya has over the past experiences severe prolonged drought spells between the years of 1990-1992, 1998-2001, 2004-2006. Droughts have devastating impacts on water availability and quality, human security and food health (Ngaira, 2009) for example, the 2004-2006 drought led to the loss of 80% of the livestock in semi-arid districts in Kenya due to lack of pasture and water. This variability not only threatens the livelihoods of pastoralists but of farmers, fishermen and even tourist operators among many others. This has a direct impact on the country’s economic growth and development.   Trans-boundary ground and surface water challenges: Kenya shares the Merti Aquifer basin with Somalia and the Kilimanjaro Aquifer Basin with Tanzania. Unlike trans-boundary surface water and river basins there is not much documentation and research that has been done on groundwater. Moreover there is no any memorandum of understanding that exists on how these aquifers are to be utilized. On surface water Kenya shares the Mara River Basin with Tanzania which has conflicting water uses for example, the Mara River Basin supplies water to the Maasai Mara and Serengeti game reserves and is also used for irrigation, livestock and domestic purposes. The rapid population growth along the basin has seen pressure rise on the water resource, clearance of land for agriculture and deforestation all which have a negative impact on the water quality and could result into human-wildlife conflict. The Lake Victoria Basin is also another example of a shared water resource in Kenya. The Basin is shared by Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Burundi and occupies about 251,000 km2 while the lake itself covers 69,000 km2. 6% of the lake surface lies within Kenya, 45% in Uganda and 49% in Tanzania (UNEP, 2008). The lake is utilized for agriculture, fishing, transport and domestic use. The population around the lake annual growth is 3% which put great pressure on the water resources of Lake Victoria affecting the water quality of the lake through release of untreated sewage, overfishing and competing water needs between the riparian states. For example, Uganda has been accused of over-releasing of water at the Kiira and Nalubaale dams in order to power its dams. This is against the agreed curve agreement at how much water can be released at Owen falls (Lubovich, 2009). Such conflicting water use needs create tension among the states and hinder cooperation in managing the Lake.Invasive species: Water hyacinth was first reported in Ugandan waters in 1988 and has now spread through the lake reaching Kagera River and the Kenyan waters (Lubovich, 2009). The water hyacinth infestation affects transportation, fishing, and aquatic life and affects dam operation. According to the World Bank estimates the first outbreak in 1997 cost the riparian nations between US$6 million and US$10 million during which period Kenya saw a decline of 70% in its port activities.      On point and non-point water pollution: the causes of water pollution in Kenya are industrialization, agriculture, urbanization. The quest for Kenya to attain industrialization has seen an increase in the pollution and degradation of water resources quality. The Nairobi River which is drained by Ngong, Nairobi and Mathare rivers is heavily polluted by raw sewage from the numerous informal settlements along its banks and effluent from the industries who find it cheaper and easier to discharge their waste into the river without adequate treatment. Other examples include the Kericho tea farms, Ahero rice scheme and Mumias sugar farms discharge of domestic and industrial effluent into water bodies leading to eutrophication. Lake Victoria suffers from pollution from agricultural areas such as Kericho and Nandi tea farms while Lake Naivasha is polluted with chemicals from the horticultural farms in the area  According to the National Environment Management Authority (2004) Kenya’s urban population growth rate is 8% per annum which not only presents a present problem in domestic and industrial waste management and provision of safe water and sanitation but also paints a grim picture for the future.     Inadequate funding: Kenya’s ground water potential has not fully been realized because of the high cost associated with drilling for water and the technical challenges in finding sources that are large enough to cater for the needs of the population. In some cases where wells are in existence, they are poorly maintained due to limited financial resources leading to easy contamination of the water. Limited funding has meant that research in this field is not sufficient and data and information that could contribute to water resources management is scarce (Hezron Mogaka, 2006).  For example, water allocation and abstraction decisions are based on inadequate data opening opportunities for water permits to be issued out without following proper procedure to meet the interests of a few. There is also inadequate investment in the water sector by private investors since it requires heavy investment and is closely regulated by the government since it is a national resource.   Weak environmental institutions: the institutions mandated with the protection of the environment and its resources are underfunded, under staffed and over worked. This has made it difficult for example, for the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) to fully prosecute those polluting water resources and carrying out illegal activities such as sand harvesting, effluent discharge into rivers, and abstraction of water. The fines associated with these offences do not reflect the damage caused or the cost of rehabilitating the affected water resources. There is a common saying in Kenya that NEMA is a toothless dog since it has no capacity or financial ability to fulfill its environmental protection mandate which include the protection of water resources. In conclusion, Water is a fundamental human right, one which every Kenyan has a right to enjoy without any limitation. This right is embedded in the National constitution of Kenya Article 43 (1d) states that every person has the right to clean and safe water in adequate quantities. Therefore, the water challenges need to be addressed through the collaborative efforts and involvement of all stakeholders so that this right is secured and assured to for all citizens.       Works Cited FAO. (2014). The state of food insecurity in the world. Rome: Food and Agriculture Orrganization of the United Nations. Hezron Mogaka, S. G. (2006). Climate variability and water resources degredation in Kenya:Improving water resources development and management. Washington: World Bank Publications. Kenya, T. G. (2008). The Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper. Lubovich, K. (2009). Cooperation and Competition: Managing Transboundary Water Resources in the Lake Victoria Region . Foundation for Environmental Security and Sustainability. Marshall, S. (June,2011). The Water Crisis in Kenya: Causes, Effects and Solutions. Global Majority E-Journal , 31-45. NEMA. (2010). Kenya state of the Environment and Outlook 2010. Supporting the delivery of vision 2030. National Environment Management Authority. Ngaira, J. K. (2009). Challenges of water resource management and food production in a changing climate in Kenya. Journal of Geography and Regional Planning Vol 2 , 97-103. UNEP, G. (2008). Transboundary issues. Wambu Charles.K, M. K. (2015). Gender Disparities in Water Resource Management Projects in Njoro Sub-County Kenya. International Journal of Social Science Studies . WRMA. (2015). WRMA perfomance report. Kenya: Water Resource Management Authority.    
    977 Posted by Eva Kimonye
  • Kenya is situated in Eastern Africa and lies across the equator. Most of Kenya’s water originates from the five water towers namely Mount Kenya, Mau forest, Aberdare ranges, Mount Elgon and Cherengani hills (NEMA, 2010). Kenya also shares a number of rivers and lakes with other countries for example Lake Victoria and Ewaso Ng’iro which is part of the larger Shebelle-Juba basin. According to the Food and Agricultural Organization 2014, the country’s total renewable water resources are 30.7km3 with water scarcity index of 674.043 m3 per capita significantly below the 1,000 m3 per capita marker for water scarcity. This means that Kenya is a water scarce country.Kenya, like any developing country faces water challenges which hinder the provision water and sanitation to its people. These challenges are both current and future as discussed;   Rapid population growth: Kenya’s population has doubled over the last 25 years and according to United Nations projections it is expected to grow by one million per year over the next 40 years and reach about 85 Million in 2050. The current water scarcity per capita is at 674.043 m3 per year and is likely to drop to 359 m3 per year by 2020 as a result of population growth. This not only presents a challenge in access to water but also a blink outlook in the future. With the rapid increase in the population more pressure is put on the finite resource. This means there is and will be more mounting demand on water for domestic use, industrial and agricultural purposes. This threatens the present and future county’s ability to meet the fundamental water needs of the people, water for economic development and environmental protection.   Ineffective water resources management: According to the Government of Kenya’s National development Report 2006, Kenya’s water resources have been mismanaged through unsustainable water and land use policies, laws and institutions, rapid population growth and increased degradation of rivers, lakes and wetlands and their catchments. The government budget allocation to water development and management has been affected since over 51% of the budget is allocated to recurring costs and expenditure. There have therefore been insufficient funds to allocate water, police illegal water extractions and obstructions and monitor water pollution. This is both a current and future problem unless the budget allocation trend is changed.   There are also gender disparities between men and women in water resource management in Kenya. Women are responsible for multiple uses of water resources and principle decision makers regarding its domestic and sanitation uses and yet more often than not men control this resource and make major decisions related to its allocation and type of facilities available (Wambu Charles.K, 2015). Women are not fully involved in formulation of water policies, public discussions and in community and national water committees. For example interventions such as irrigations fail to consider the gender dynamics in land ownership rights, labour force and income. High level of women illiteracy rates in rural Kenya also hinders women in participation of water project planning and management.   Forest degradation: According to the United Nations illegal encroachment have reduced Kenya’s forest cover from 12% to 1.2%. Rivers and lakes have shrunk as a result affecting access of water. One of the forest complex adversely affected is the Mau Forest complex. The water shed feeds 12 rivers and hydroelectric dams downstream and replenishes the famous wildlife preserves of Maasai Mara and Serengeti in Tanzania. Unfortunately, loggers and farmers have destroyed up to 400,000 hectares of forested land (Marshall, June,2011). This has led to increased run off and flash floods in the towns neighbouring the forest. For example in 2015 heavy rainfall in the Mau forest led to heavy flooding in Narok county resulting into the loss of life and destruction of private property. The Narok case is not unique and heavy rainfall in other parts of the country has led to erosion from cleared forest cover, poorly maintained agricultural land leading to accelerated siltation and loss of storage capacity in the country’s storage dams and pans. Out of the estimated 3,200 dams and pans countrywide, between 80% and 90% have lost at least 50% of their expected economic life from siltation (Hezron Mogaka, 2006).   Climate variability: Many parts of Africa, Kenya included are experiencing high variability in rainfall and frequent occurrences of flooding and drought with the latter causing drying of surface water resources. For example Kenya has over the past experiences severe prolonged drought spells between the years of 1990-1992, 1998-2001, 2004-2006. Droughts have devastating impacts on water availability and quality, human security and food health (Ngaira, 2009) for example, the 2004-2006 drought led to the loss of 80% of the livestock in semi-arid districts in Kenya due to lack of pasture and water. This variability not only threatens the livelihoods of pastoralists but of farmers, fishermen and even tourist operators among many others. This has a direct impact on the country’s economic growth and development.   Trans-boundary ground and surface water challenges: Kenya shares the Merti Aquifer basin with Somalia and the Kilimanjaro Aquifer Basin with Tanzania. Unlike trans-boundary surface water and river basins there is not much documentation and research that has been done on groundwater. Moreover there is no any memorandum of understanding that exists on how these aquifers are to be utilized. On surface water Kenya shares the Mara River Basin with Tanzania which has conflicting water uses for example, the Mara River Basin supplies water to the Maasai Mara and Serengeti game reserves and is also used for irrigation, livestock and domestic purposes. The rapid population growth along the basin has seen pressure rise on the water resource, clearance of land for agriculture and deforestation all which have a negative impact on the water quality and could result into human-wildlife conflict. The Lake Victoria Basin is also another example of a shared water resource in Kenya. The Basin is shared by Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Burundi and occupies about 251,000 km2 while the lake itself covers 69,000 km2. 6% of the lake surface lies within Kenya, 45% in Uganda and 49% in Tanzania (UNEP, 2008). The lake is utilized for agriculture, fishing, transport and domestic use. The population around the lake annual growth is 3% which put great pressure on the water resources of Lake Victoria affecting the water quality of the lake through release of untreated sewage, overfishing and competing water needs between the riparian states. For example, Uganda has been accused of over-releasing of water at the Kiira and Nalubaale dams in order to power its dams. This is against the agreed curve agreement at how much water can be released at Owen falls (Lubovich, 2009). Such conflicting water use needs create tension among the states and hinder cooperation in managing the Lake.Invasive species: Water hyacinth was first reported in Ugandan waters in 1988 and has now spread through the lake reaching Kagera River and the Kenyan waters (Lubovich, 2009). The water hyacinth infestation affects transportation, fishing, and aquatic life and affects dam operation. According to the World Bank estimates the first outbreak in 1997 cost the riparian nations between US$6 million and US$10 million during which period Kenya saw a decline of 70% in its port activities.      On point and non-point water pollution: the causes of water pollution in Kenya are industrialization, agriculture, urbanization. The quest for Kenya to attain industrialization has seen an increase in the pollution and degradation of water resources quality. The Nairobi River which is drained by Ngong, Nairobi and Mathare rivers is heavily polluted by raw sewage from the numerous informal settlements along its banks and effluent from the industries who find it cheaper and easier to discharge their waste into the river without adequate treatment. Other examples include the Kericho tea farms, Ahero rice scheme and Mumias sugar farms discharge of domestic and industrial effluent into water bodies leading to eutrophication. Lake Victoria suffers from pollution from agricultural areas such as Kericho and Nandi tea farms while Lake Naivasha is polluted with chemicals from the horticultural farms in the area  According to the National Environment Management Authority (2004) Kenya’s urban population growth rate is 8% per annum which not only presents a present problem in domestic and industrial waste management and provision of safe water and sanitation but also paints a grim picture for the future.     Inadequate funding: Kenya’s ground water potential has not fully been realized because of the high cost associated with drilling for water and the technical challenges in finding sources that are large enough to cater for the needs of the population. In some cases where wells are in existence, they are poorly maintained due to limited financial resources leading to easy contamination of the water. Limited funding has meant that research in this field is not sufficient and data and information that could contribute to water resources management is scarce (Hezron Mogaka, 2006).  For example, water allocation and abstraction decisions are based on inadequate data opening opportunities for water permits to be issued out without following proper procedure to meet the interests of a few. There is also inadequate investment in the water sector by private investors since it requires heavy investment and is closely regulated by the government since it is a national resource.   Weak environmental institutions: the institutions mandated with the protection of the environment and its resources are underfunded, under staffed and over worked. This has made it difficult for example, for the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) to fully prosecute those polluting water resources and carrying out illegal activities such as sand harvesting, effluent discharge into rivers, and abstraction of water. The fines associated with these offences do not reflect the damage caused or the cost of rehabilitating the affected water resources. There is a common saying in Kenya that NEMA is a toothless dog since it has no capacity or financial ability to fulfill its environmental protection mandate which include the protection of water resources. In conclusion, Water is a fundamental human right, one which every Kenyan has a right to enjoy without any limitation. This right is embedded in the National constitution of Kenya Article 43 (1d) states that every person has the right to clean and safe water in adequate quantities. Therefore, the water challenges need to be addressed through the collaborative efforts and involvement of all stakeholders so that this right is secured and assured to for all citizens.       Works Cited FAO. (2014). The state of food insecurity in the world. Rome: Food and Agriculture Orrganization of the United Nations. Hezron Mogaka, S. G. (2006). Climate variability and water resources degredation in Kenya:Improving water resources development and management. Washington: World Bank Publications. Kenya, T. G. (2008). The Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper. Lubovich, K. (2009). Cooperation and Competition: Managing Transboundary Water Resources in the Lake Victoria Region . Foundation for Environmental Security and Sustainability. Marshall, S. (June,2011). The Water Crisis in Kenya: Causes, Effects and Solutions. Global Majority E-Journal , 31-45. NEMA. (2010). Kenya state of the Environment and Outlook 2010. Supporting the delivery of vision 2030. National Environment Management Authority. Ngaira, J. K. (2009). Challenges of water resource management and food production in a changing climate in Kenya. Journal of Geography and Regional Planning Vol 2 , 97-103. UNEP, G. (2008). Transboundary issues. Wambu Charles.K, M. K. (2015). Gender Disparities in Water Resource Management Projects in Njoro Sub-County Kenya. International Journal of Social Science Studies . WRMA. (2015). WRMA perfomance report. Kenya: Water Resource Management Authority.    
    Aug 01, 2016 977
  • 27 Apr 2016
    Day 2, Session 1This session was mainly focused on presentations concerning Economics and Finance plus potential assessment in relation to Renewable Energy scenarios . Among the presentations that were held included one that was solely on the exploration of the conditions for Renewable Energy transitions in Nigeria. The presenter highlighted the reasons behind the unequal distribution of the adoption of renewable energy across the thirty six states of the country. The multi-level socio-technical perspective (MLP) which involves the examination of the variation along three hypotheses: the niche hypothesis, the regime hypothesis and the landscape hypothesis was used. The presenter argued that while all three hypotheses are able to explain variation in the adoption of renewable energy technologies in Nigeria to some extent, the regime hypothesis plays a more prominent role. He explained that the hypothesis exposes clearly the structural dependence of states on oil and its influence on the adoption of renewable energy technologies. The presenter additionally discussed the crucial pathways in the development of renewable energy in Nigeria and beyond. After this topic, a presenter from Wits Business School, Johannesburg, South Africa followed with an investigation on the state of financing Renewable Energy projects (REPs). According his survey, the following results were obtained; firstly, with firms, the risk to lose the capital in financing Renewable energy projects located in semi-urban and rural areas is higher than projects implemented in urban areas. Secondly, it was found out that in investing capital, safety of the environment or impacting local economic development is not a priority for larger firms financing REPs. Thirdly, with smaller localised firms, in financing REPs, the capacity of renewable energy technologies (RETs) to contribute to sustainable economic development is an important consideration. As a solution for sustainable economic development improvement in semi-rural and rural communities, the presenter proposed the two hand renewable energy service company model of ESCO as efficient financial vehicles to increase sustainable economic development through the production of reliable and stable electricity in semi-urban and rural communities. The presentation that followed was about Smart Pricing Implementation where a simulator with ICT Infrastructure was used to approximate the system in operation. The presenter highlighted that due to a general lack of established designs, technologies and business models in developing countries, a generic platform for planning and evaluating alternative microgrid technologies and operating strategies is needed for the developing world context. He underscored that while microgrid testbeds have proved effective in many developed countries – notably within the European Union (EU) and North America – such a tool has not been developed specifically to address the variety of system architectures and technologies that arise in developing world settings. A testbed for developing world microgrids, now being planned in Rwanda was used in his study for the different case scenarios. Both DC and AC micro grids as well as Solar Home Systems (SHS), were to be represented in the testbed scenarios. The testbed would also calculate the economic effects of tiered pricing, where consumers would agree to different electricity prices in the same microgrid based on the level of service they choose. The presenter commended such a system as it modeled smart meters that provide precision monitoring and control to estimate economic returns from microgrids with different pricing schemes and different power clipping levels that correspond to the levels of service offered to consumers. Follow this heading for more interesting researches that were presented in the Africa-EU Renewable Energy Research and Innovations Symposium. @Editorial_team  
    968 Posted by Tonny Kukeera
  • Day 2, Session 1This session was mainly focused on presentations concerning Economics and Finance plus potential assessment in relation to Renewable Energy scenarios . Among the presentations that were held included one that was solely on the exploration of the conditions for Renewable Energy transitions in Nigeria. The presenter highlighted the reasons behind the unequal distribution of the adoption of renewable energy across the thirty six states of the country. The multi-level socio-technical perspective (MLP) which involves the examination of the variation along three hypotheses: the niche hypothesis, the regime hypothesis and the landscape hypothesis was used. The presenter argued that while all three hypotheses are able to explain variation in the adoption of renewable energy technologies in Nigeria to some extent, the regime hypothesis plays a more prominent role. He explained that the hypothesis exposes clearly the structural dependence of states on oil and its influence on the adoption of renewable energy technologies. The presenter additionally discussed the crucial pathways in the development of renewable energy in Nigeria and beyond. After this topic, a presenter from Wits Business School, Johannesburg, South Africa followed with an investigation on the state of financing Renewable Energy projects (REPs). According his survey, the following results were obtained; firstly, with firms, the risk to lose the capital in financing Renewable energy projects located in semi-urban and rural areas is higher than projects implemented in urban areas. Secondly, it was found out that in investing capital, safety of the environment or impacting local economic development is not a priority for larger firms financing REPs. Thirdly, with smaller localised firms, in financing REPs, the capacity of renewable energy technologies (RETs) to contribute to sustainable economic development is an important consideration. As a solution for sustainable economic development improvement in semi-rural and rural communities, the presenter proposed the two hand renewable energy service company model of ESCO as efficient financial vehicles to increase sustainable economic development through the production of reliable and stable electricity in semi-urban and rural communities. The presentation that followed was about Smart Pricing Implementation where a simulator with ICT Infrastructure was used to approximate the system in operation. The presenter highlighted that due to a general lack of established designs, technologies and business models in developing countries, a generic platform for planning and evaluating alternative microgrid technologies and operating strategies is needed for the developing world context. He underscored that while microgrid testbeds have proved effective in many developed countries – notably within the European Union (EU) and North America – such a tool has not been developed specifically to address the variety of system architectures and technologies that arise in developing world settings. A testbed for developing world microgrids, now being planned in Rwanda was used in his study for the different case scenarios. Both DC and AC micro grids as well as Solar Home Systems (SHS), were to be represented in the testbed scenarios. The testbed would also calculate the economic effects of tiered pricing, where consumers would agree to different electricity prices in the same microgrid based on the level of service they choose. The presenter commended such a system as it modeled smart meters that provide precision monitoring and control to estimate economic returns from microgrids with different pricing schemes and different power clipping levels that correspond to the levels of service offered to consumers. Follow this heading for more interesting researches that were presented in the Africa-EU Renewable Energy Research and Innovations Symposium. @Editorial_team  
    Apr 27, 2016 968