By Silyvia Alusa

Kenya has made significant progress in doubling the proportion of its population using clean cooking from 15% to 31% over the decade.

This sentiment was shared during a high-level panel discussion at the International Energy Agency(IEA)’s 9th Annual Global Conference on Energy Efficiency held on 21 and 22 May in Nairobi Kenya.

Dr. Faith Odongo, Director of Renewable Energy, Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, said that the ministry is focusing on driving clean cooking access in Kenya by prioritizing clean cooking in major priority documents such as the energy transition investment plan, a key document in the energy sector which has mainstreamed clean cooking as a key aspect of energy development.

Through the Integrated National Energy Plan (INEP), the Ministry of Energy is working with counties to increase access to clean cooking. “We need counties to respond to clean cooking and therefore we are in the process of sensitizing counties to respond to clean cooking… if we do it at the national level and ignore the grassroots level, we are bound to fail,” said Dr.Odongo.

Additionally, she noted that to achieve Kenya’s goal of universal access to clean cooking by 2028, they are focusing on the five-action agenda outlined in the Kenya National Cooking Transition.

The action plan includes leveraging existing public institutions as demand points for clean fuels to bridge the supply gap for clean cooking solutions, leveraging carbon financing and other opportunities geared towards bridging the affordability gap as well as enhancing local production of clean fuels and manufacture of efficient technologies for domestic and export markets thus supporting green industrialization.

Others include increasing awareness and promoting behaviour change among the population as well as establishing mechanisms to track the implementation process.

Through the implementation of this document, Kenya plans to increase its clean energy mix to comprise 50% use of liquefied petroleum gas (lpg), 30% bio-ethanol, 10% electric cooking and other clean cooking fuels such as briquettes and biogas among others.

“Kenya has a high access to electricity of about 75% but only 1% of our people are using it for cooking, this is a big gap that we need to bridge,” said Dr. Odongo.

She noted that implementing the clean cooking strategy will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 11% of the country’s 143 metric tonnes target. It will also contribute to the reduction of forest cover destruction by 466,000 hectares.