Key players in the clean cooking sector are meeting in Nairobi to explore ways of enhancing access to clean cooking energy. The forum is the major highlight of this year’s Week of Clean Cooking organized to catalyze action towards universal access to clean cooking energy.
The 4-day event is aimed at bringing coherence to the sector by taking stock of progress, evaluating the potential role of different fuels (and technologies) and exploring different pathways to achieving Kenya’s ambitious target for universal access to clean cooking energy by 2028.
The theme for this year’s Week of Clean Cooking is: “Transforming the Enabling Environment to Achieve Universal Access to Clean Cooking by 2028.” It is hosted by the Clean Cooking Association of Kenya (CCAK) and the Government in collaboration with GIZ Kenya, Modern Clean Cooking Services, Fair Trade Africa, Clean Cooking Alliance, and Practical Action.
(TOP: From left; David Njuki, the CEO, Clean Cooking Association of Kenya; Mariam Karanja, Programme Manager, Clean Cooking Association of Kenya; and Dan Marangu, Director, Renewable Energy, Ministry of Energy, display clean cooking jikos that are environment-friendly at the KICC during the launch of Clean Cooking Week Expo 2021 on Monday November 29, 2021.
Energy and Petroleum CS Davis Chirchir who was represented at the forum by PS Dr. Gordon Kihalangwa said the Government is working on the National Clean Cooking Strategy to define roadmap for increasing access to improved transitional and clean cooking solutions.
“Our country has demonstrated a high level of political will to implement coordinated actions that support the transition to clean cooking. It has also ensured that the same is incorporated in the National Integrated Energy Planning and budgeting. Implementation of the Kenya Clean Cooking Energy Compact 2021 commits Kenya to ensure the availability of a favorable enabling environment, strengthen supply and stimulate the demand for clean cooking fuels and technologies, in addition to addressing cross-cutting issues by 2030,” he said.
Kenya loses an estimates 21,560 people to respiratory ailments which often result from exposure to Household Air Pollution. Up to 75 percent of Kenya’s population uses solid fuels as primary source of cooking with 68 percent using wood, 7.8 percent paraffin, and 23 percent cooking gas.
Clean cooking solutions such as ethanol, biogas and electricity have the potential to reduce harmful emissions, increase efficiency, and improve health and livelihoods.
Despite three decades of efforts, access to clean cooking fuel and technologies has continued to be an issue with severe health, gender, economic, environmental, and climate impacts.
Participants at the forum will among other things have opportunity to contribute to the process of development of a strategy that will set out a roadmap for concrete actions that will see increased access to clean cooking energy for Kenyans.
They will also review various existing policies and strategies that have helped create an enabling environment for adoption and access to clean cooking. These include the Bioenergy Strategy, Behavior Change Communication Strategy, Gender in Energy Policy, and Energy Efficiency Strategy.
The Ministry of Energy is in the process of developing the Kenya National Clean Cooking Strategy which will drive the clean cooking agenda forward and contribute to universal access to clean cooking.
The forum includes presentations on various clean cooking technologies including electric cooking (eCooking) and biomass cooking.
Although eCooking offers a transformative new opportunity for Kenya’s clean cooking sector to connect into the rapid progress that has been made in electrification there was still little progress on adoption. Over 75% of the population are connected to electricity, yet less than 1% are using that connection as their primary source of cooking energy.
The crucial place of biomass tools and fuel in the clean cooking sector and the evolving business models that are driving adoption of clean biomass solutions will also be discussed. The forum is expected to explore why the segment has historically not attracted large investment, the role of innovation in driving scale and impact, what is missing to reach scalable biomass fuel distribution models, and the opportunities and challenges in the ecosystem.
In Kenya, the biomas remains the common source of energy use by an estimated 68% of households. Only 30% of rural households and 54% of urban households currently use improved cookstoves and fuels.
Low level of awareness has been identified as one of the major impediments to the uptake of clean cooking solutions in the country.
The Ministry of Energy has therefore prioritised clean cooking as a key component of the national development agenda. This is in line with the national obligations to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) No. 7 of achieving universal access to clean cooking solutions by 2028. This is aligned with other existing global and local commitments contained in the Sustainable Energy for All (SEforAll) and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) commitments that aim to accelerate actions in clean cooking to achieve the target.
Other activities lined up for the Week of Clean Cooking include discussions on Short Lived Climate Pollutants (SLCP) and the impacts of household air pollution on health; ongoing clean cooking initiatives by various organisations and financing the clean cooking sector.
Gender mainstreaming and social inclusion in the energy sector, accelerating access to clean energy within the agricultural sector and transforming clean cooking response in displacement sector, will also form part of the discussions at the forum.
On Thursday, the forum will be held virtually while on Friday, participants will visit a Kenya Power eCooking demonstration site where they will be taken through a series of participatory methodologies designed to capture their insights to be fed into the ongoing national planning process for Kenya’s emerging eCooking sector.