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|| Expanding Access to Clean Energy in Developing Countries: The Role of Off-grid Mini Hydro Power Projects in Kenya
|| International Journal of Renewable Energy Research-IJRER
|| Michael Omondi Okok, George Ruchathi Mwaniki, Ezekiel Oromat
| Published in:
|| September 2019
|| Access to electricity is considered as one of the key drivers for economic growth and human development. However, in most developing countries access to energy has been a major challenge. This challenge has been compounded by the environmental challenges associated with conventional energy generation and distribution. As such there is a need for policy makers and the community of practice to explore other energy generation and distribution systems that minimizes environmental impacts and sets out a sustainable development pathway. These considerations must explore the role of small renewable energy systems in ending energy poverty, especially for communities living in isolated areas, where a considerable investment would be required to connect them to the national grids.
This paper argues that mini-hydropower projects can play a critical role in ending energy poverty for rural communities in off-grid areas. The results presented here are based on three case in Kenya. The study integrated qualitative and quantitative methodologies to generate and analyze the data collected from Magiro Power, Diguna Mission Centre and Boston school. These studies demonstrate that mini-hydropower projects can deliver important outcomes to institutions and rural communities.
Despite their potential in reducing energy poverty, mini-hydropower projects are faced by several challenges ranging from technical, financial, policy and regulatory factors. To address these challenges and unlock their potential, we recommend an inclusive approach that brings together policy makers, academia, local communities and private sector players to work together to create an enabling environment for the accelerated development of off-grid power projects.
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