There is a growing emphasis on increased use of renewable and efficient energy as well as decreased use of fossil fuels world wide. Increased use of renewable sources of energy like solar energy is highly relevant to Kenya. For instance, Kenya is among the nations with maximum solar resource, roughly twice that in Europe per unit area. Additionally, the rural population in most places of Kenya is widely scattered, making the use of solar highly attractive. Finally, with rural electrification around 10% in Kenya, and the huge cost involved in extending the conventional grid, most of the villages in Kenya appear doomed to lead a "powerless" life for many decades to come.
RESTECH initiated this research program since energy plays a vital role in development and poverty reduction in Kenya. The importance of energy as a key element of sustainable development is now recognized nationally as well as internationally. Three E’s- Energy security, Economic development and Environmental sustainability-form cornerstone of this programme.
This programme structure stresses how energy can be made cost-effective, environmentally friendly, and affordable as well as adequate quality services being made available to the rural communities on a sustainable basis.
Development and Installation of Solar Photovoltaic Power for use in Rural Primary Schools, Secondary Schools, Dispensaries and Hospitals in Kenya
It is in the goal of RESTECH Center to develop and install Solar Photovoltaic Power for use in selected rural primary schools, secondary schools, dispensaries and hospitals in Kenya. In many rural dispensaries, clinics, primary and secondary schools in Kenya, lack of electricity has retarded economic development and sometimes resulted in preventable deaths. The dispensaries lack refrigeration systems to store simple drugs and vaccines which would have saved life at short notice.
A well designed and implemented solar photovoltaic system for such a purpose will definitely save lives and improve the economy. Additionally, many rural schools do not have electricity and depend on paraffin in pressure lamps at night. From the onset, paraffin usage is environmentally unfriendly and equally expensive compared to solar photovoltaic. Furthermore, long term usage of paraffin causes health related problems on the eye unlike photovoltaic power system which is environmentally clean.
Through this project, rural communities are targeted where these systems could be installed. The immediate beneficiaries for the rural school lighting systems will be the students and pupils. Moreover, parents will be saving money for more rewarding activities such as buying books, and enough food for their children/families. The Center aims at producing evidence-based research to influence policy-makers in this key area of development.