Kenya Vision 2030 and the Presidential Big 4 Initiative identify the agro-processing industry, which forms about 38% of Kenya’s manufacturing sector, as one of the key drivers for realizing a sustained annual GDP growth and fighting food insecurity. It is a diverse subsector that heavily depends on agriculture for raw materials. Water and energy are the two key resources in this sub-sector and it is imperative that they are better managed through adoption and implementation of climate friendly energy and water innovations. This is to improve food production and sustainable development. Food especially, is required both for export and local consumption. The Kenyan energy consumption is largely dominated by petroleum and electricity. In an analysis conducted by Eenovators Ltd, a Kenyan energy management company, the high energy cost has a significant impact on food prices that in most cases fuel food insecurity. The UN, on the other hand, has categorized Kenya as a water scarce country, prompting the government to come up with National Policies on Water Resources Management and Development. Agriculture uses approximately 21% of food production energy – which equals 2.1 quadrillion Btu of energy each year. Kenya’s agro-processing industry owing to high cost of energy and water scarcity has remained below the expected performance at 3% per annum. Other factors that have contributed to this low performance include;
- Lack of capacity especially in energy and water efficient best practices
- Gender inequality
- Climate change due to increased greenhouse gases emissions
The East Africa regional Innovation Hub and Eenovators Limited, therefore designed a project dubbed An ESCO model for energy efficiency in Kenya to provide solutions to these pressing problems.
Through this project, Eenovators Ltd is rolling out the WESCO project in Kenya for the very first time and the first group to benefit includes 10 firms in the agriculture and food industry. A WESCO model creates an ’Operating System for energy and water services, incorporating all the systems, processes and contract templates needed to deliver water and energy efficiency to the food sector industry.
The WESCO model will help in the building of sustainable business models that are climate- friendly and energy and water efficient for companies in the agri-food industry, coupled with relevant trained manpower thus promoting smart food production.
The project will promote food security by showcasing how energy and water management can help improve food production. This will be achieved by conducting energy and water audits and real-time monitoring of their consumption to determine efficiency projects that can be implemented to achieve reduced cost of energy and water for various processes. This eventually reduces the overall cost of production in these industries. In addition, there will be improved productivity as a result of capacity development in energy and water efficiency best practices imparted by the trained manpower placed in the 10 firms.
Currently, we have trained 10 young people under the Youth in Energy Empowerment Program (YEEP) and the young Certified Energy Audit Technicians are preparing to start their 6 months internship period in the 10 selected facilities in the agri-food sector.
All you Need to Know About ESCO's in Kenya (Energyzed World)
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