Nairobi River Basin (Kiambu County) - we are northwest of the Kenyan capital with an impressively diverse landscape where thriving biodiversity is juxtaposed with logging and burning of kerosene and waste materials to cope with everyday life. In some cases, this leaves nature depleted. Supported by Green Electricity Label funding, atmosfair wants to change this state of affairs for the long term - the hope is cow dung.
Cow dung as an energy resource
"The construction of biogas plants to supply energy not only saves almost five tons of CO2 per household per year and protects the local environment, but also creates jobs in the process for the construction, maintenance and operation of the plants," enthuses Kerstin Burghaus of atmosfair.
Every household in Kiambu County with a biogas plant now knows exactly where the energy it produces comes from - namely, from its own garden. The two- to three-square-meter gas tanks peek out of the ground like little ant hills. Cow dung bubbles away in them, creating regenerative biogas through the bacterial process of anaerobic digestion.
Through a pipeline, the biogas obtained reaches the kitchenette of the housing unit, where delicious traditional dishes are prepared. In addition to biogas, the plant produces fermentation residues. Due to their nutrient-rich content, these can be used as fertilizer by households in their fields or sold. Currently (as of 2019), about 738 plants have already been built and are in operation. A total of up to 10,000 micro-biogas plants can be built over the entire project period.
Strong together for the energy transition
Local subsidies: The subsidies required to support the individual project steps were provided, among other things, by subsidies from the Green Electricity Label. For every kilowatt hour of certified green electricity, a fixed amount goes directly to energy transition projects. In this way, 1,350 projects have already been supported with more than 65 million euros in the last 20 years.
"We are pleased that through our funding the energy transition can be advanced together with atmosfair and hope that in the future even more biogas plants can be built. All consumers who purchase green electricity with Grüner Strom Label automatically support good renewable energy projects - here in Germany and also worldwide ", emphasizes Daniel Craffonara, Managing Director of Grüner Strom Label e.V..
Air to the top
Despite the numerous advantages of biogas and various development aid projects, the biogas sector in Kenya still leads a shadowy existence. The approximately 22,000 plants built so far do not even exploit 13 percent of the potential - so there is still room for improvement. Air that will hopefully be clean and smoke-free in the future with the help of numerous other subsidized energy transition projects.
The gas storage tanks peek out of the ground like little ant hills. Photo: atmosfair
A user in front of her collection point of the Kuhdung. Photo: atmosfair