Ministry of Energy Principal Secretary, Major. Gen. (Rtd.) Dr. Gordon Kihalangwa has said there is need to put more funds in research and innovation in a bid to convert the minicipal waste into energy.
Kihalangwa says that research and innovation are critical components for growth and sustainable development in energy sector and collaborations with higher learning institutions will boost research.
According to the PS the heap of municipal waste now can be converted into a sustainable source of clean energy for domestic use for urban families.
“To achieve development in the energy sector we must involve young and fresh minds in the universities to give solutions to our problems, and in that case our universities as research centre must not be underfunded” Dr Kihalangwa said.
The experts suggests that the implementation of the municipal waste generated energy has the capacity give city dwellers sufficient amount of clean energy and also ensuring that the environment is no littered by food wastes and other biodegradable wastes.
According to Dr Xavenxier Ochieng’, a lecturer at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT),fermentation of the biodigestible wastes under an aerobic condition produces a methane gain that can be upgraded give natural gas that can be used for cooking,lighting and powering domestic electric appliances.
“The garbage in our city is of beneficial it can be collected,kept under anaerobic conditions to produce natural gad that can be upscaled to give sufficient clean energy for domestic and small scale industrial use.”Dr Ochieng said.
The seasoned lecturer further noted that the combustible components of municipal wastes can be subjected to extreme temperatures to turn a steam turbine to produce electricity where that can serve as power backup during long term power blackout or rationing.
The principle remains the same if the wastes are kept in biodigester to produce cooking gas and electricity.
“We know the sometimes when th sometimes when there’s power shortage some areas with in Nairobi have no other means to stay connected,so municipal waste that are combustible can be burnt to turn steam turbine to generate reliable energy for city residents.” Dr Ochieng added.
The journey towards achieving clean energy United Nations Sustainable Development Goals number 13 recommends has not been easy since,the local production plants for the ethanol only prioritise medical and brewery sectors.
“For the country to a achieve SDG number 12 our production of ethanol must go up so that we not only focus on medical and breweries industries but also domestic use.” Dr Ochieng opined.
Currently there are two incomplete projects of municipal wastes digestion plants in Dandora and Kibera that will play major roles of ensuring reliable electricity connections are achieved.
By Rodgers Oduor