Adoption of energy-efficient woodstoves and contribution to resource conservation in Nakuru County, Kenya
Njogu, Paul Kuria
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Biomass energy provides 68% of Kenya's national energy requirements and it is expected to remain the main source of energy for the foreseeable future. The current biomass demand in Kenya is estimated at 40.5 million tonnes against a sustainable supply of 16 million tonnes. Many of the rural households use traditional stoves which have low energy efficiency leading to using more woodfuel, increase in indoor air pollution and also putting alot of pressure on the biomass sources. There have been efforts to promote use of woodfuel conservation technologies. This programme has been spearheaded by the ministry of energy, Ministry of agriculture, and many NOOs. There are technologies promoted in Kenya that can reduce the consumption of biomass energy by 80%. They include the improved charcoal stoves (KCJ) which can save upto 50%, the improved fuelwood stoves (e.g Kuni Mbili) which can save upto 50% and the fireless cookers that can save upto 50%. This study was carried out to assess the levels of acquisition and use of these technologies in Lanet Division (Urban area) and Dundori Division (Rural area) both in Nakuru County, determine the social economic factors influencing adoption as well as assess the levels of awareness of weather changes and the need for environmental conservation among the people in the study area. The research study used questionnaires, interview schedule, photography and observation in data collection. Analysis of the data was done by use of SPSS. Data was analyzed by use of; Bar charts, percentages, means and standard deviation, tTest, Pearson and Spearman Correlation test as well as multiple regression analysis. It was found out that the level of adoption of improved charcoal cookstoves (KCJ) was higher in the urban (93%) than rural areas (81 %) while the level of adoption of improved firewood stoves was quite low both in rural (9.18%) and urban (1.08%) areas. Adoption of fireless cookers was also found to be low for both rural (1.53%) and urban (8.06%). Income of the household (r-0.230) and level of education (r-0.232) were positively correlated to acquisition and use of the energy saving technologies. While the numbers of dependants (t value- -3.365), cost of improved fuelwood stoves (t-value 6.658), cost of improved charcoal stoves (t-value -7.161) and the cost of fireless cookers (t-value -11.385) all with a p-value of 0.000 were found as some of the social economic factors influencing adoption of these technologies. The level of awareness on drastic changes in weather was found to be high (90%). There is need for various stakeholders to increase diffusion of quality charcoal cookstoves at an affordable price as well as intensify promotion of firewood improved stoves especially in the rural areas where majority of the people depend on firewood as their main source of fuel. There is also need to invest in the development and promotion of other renewable energy technologies such as biogas and solar energy whose uptake was negligible in the study area.