It is physically housed within Kisii Agricultural Training Centre (KATC) about 2 kilometers from Kisii Town within Kisii County. The centre’s establishment was initiated in 1982 to serve the Nyanza Highlands region. Kisii County is a high potential agricultural region with coffee, pyrethrum and tea as cash crops. The region receives an annual rainfall ranging from 1000 mm to 2200 mm/year and typically has a hilly topography dissected by numerous streams and rivers.
Kisii County is densely populated. Small-holder intensive agriculture is dominant. Kisii Energy Centre uses two strategies in energy management. These are demand and supply management. Under demand management strategy, the focus is on reduction on demand of wood fuel consumption through the use of improved cook stoves that save energy while supply management strategy puts emphasis on supply of wood fuel by promoting agro forestry tree species as source of fuel.
To be the leader in promoting equitable access to quality renewable energy services at least cost while protecting the environment
To ensure that there is adequate proportion of renewable energy resources in the national energy mix.
The broad objectives of the Department of Renewable Energy is to promote the development and use of renewable energy technologies, including but not limited to biomass, biodiesel, bio-ethanol, charcoal, fuel wood, solar, wind, tidal waves, hydropower, biogas and municipal waste. The specific objectives are to:
- Formulate a national strategy for coordinating research in renewable energy;
- Provide an enabling framework for the efficient and sustainable production, distribution and marketing of biomass, solar, wind, small hydro, municipal waste, and charcoal;
- Promote the use of fast maturing trees for energy production including bio-fuels and the establishment of commercial woodlots including peri-urban plantations;
- Promote the use of municipal waste for energy production;
- Promote the development of appropriate local capacity for the manufacture, installation, maintenance and operation of basic renewable technologies such as bio-digesters solar systems and hydro turbines;
- Promote international co-operation on programmes focusing on renewable energy sources;
- Harness opportunities offered under clean development mechanism and other mechanisms to promote the development and exploitation of renewable energy sources;
- Promote the utilization of renewable energy sources for either power generation or transportation;
- Promote co-generation of electric power by sugar millers and sale of such electric power through national grid directly to the consumers; and,
- Promote the production and use of gasohol and biodiesel.
To meet these policy objectives and address the demand for energy as a critical input for development, the following key activities have been identified:
- Promotion of appropriate wood fuel tree species;
- Demonstration and training on on-farm wood fuel production;
- Wood fuel policy analysis and development;
- Training of artisans and consumers in the construction and use of biogas digesters;
- Promotion of solar water heaters, dryers and cookers;
- Research and development of renewable energy technologies;
- Renewable energy policy formulation and development;
- Wind energy promotion and development;
- Promotion of economically viable mini, micro and pico hydropower sites;
- Development and promotion of bio-fuels;
Due to the need for increased production of both wood and food products, and also the urgent need to reduce ecological degradation, the centre initially endeavored to accomplish the following:
- Promote energy conservation and develop relevant alternative renewable energy technologies such as energy saving Cook stoves, Maendeleo/portable Jiko, Biogas, and Solar.
- Training on alternative energy efficiency strategies
- Sensitize, develop and disseminate appropriate agro forestry technologies
- Increase and improve accessibility of tree seeds/seedlings in the community
- Produce and distribute tree seedlings and seed of appropriate agro forestry/wood fuel species
- Develop and establish effective collaboration in extension of services through GOK Agencies, NGOs and other tree planting groups / organizations and relevant stake holders