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Energy PS Pushes For Conversion Of Municipal Waste Into Energy

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.

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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