Angela Mungai , Richard Mulwa , Stephen Anyango
International Journal of Rural Development, Environment and Health Research(IJREH), Vol-2,Issue-4, July - August 2018, Pages 1-7, 10.22161/ijreh.2.4.1
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Kenya is constrained by low rural clean energy access, particularly among communities in remote settings. The objective of this study is to evaluate the social value and preferences of low-carbon off-grid technologies by households in Kenyan rangelands as an alternative to the national grid for powering isolated low-income communities. To this end a household survey was conducted on a settlement in Laikipia North using interview schedules to assess demographic characteristics, energy consumption patterns and average expenditure on traditional fuels, clean energy awareness, preferences and willingness to pay. Key findings revealed that residential off-grid clean energy options studied were largely found to be socially viable, as rural households are willing to switch from high-carbon fuels, but affordability is a key concern. The most acceptable off-grid low-carbon lighting technologies for remote low-income homesteads are Pico solar lamps and solar panels, while portable Liquid petroleum gas stoves and clean cook-stoves were found to be the most acceptable technology for low-carbon cooking at household level due to the relatively low cost, and portability factors which are favorable for pastoralist communities. It was also found that despite the Kenyan Government commitment towards a green economy, a change in policy direction would be necessary to ensure that there is inclusive access to clean energy through awareness programs and targeted financial interventions in support of low-income energy-deprived communities.