Effects of Renewable Energy and Accessibility on Household’s Fuel Choices: A Case Study in Kenya

Stephen K. Kimutai, Henry K. Kiriamiti, Denyse Snelder


Regardless of the efforts to encourage the use of renewable energy sources such as solar and biogas in developing countries, their adoption and use is still low especially in Kenya. The purpose of this research was to investigate effects of renewable energy and accessibility on household fuel choices in Kenya among households in rural and peri-urban areas. Random sampling technique was used to select a sample of 199 households in the county of Uasin Gishu.   Data for the study were collected using a structured questionnaire and analyzed using different quantitative and qualitative statistical procedures and methods. Analysis reveals that rural households are still dependent largely on kerosene and electricity for lighting their houses and majorly firewood for cooking, while electricity and charcoal form a major source of energy for lighting and cooking in peri-urban households respectively. A small portion of households in rural (11.6%) and peri-urban (12.9%) use biogas energy for cooking.  The results also shows negative association between the use of renewable energy and the use of conventional household energy sources for cooking (firewood, kerosene and charcoal) and lighting (kerosene) implying reduction in deforestation, indoor pollution and dependency on imported fuels. Further, it was found that there is positive association between accessibility and the type of fuel used at household level for cooking indicating that nearness to diverse supplying shops selling fuel is positively associated with household energy changing behaviour.  The effects of renewable energy will reduce the use of conventional fuels and household’s energy diversification while accessibility on the other hand increases household fuel choices. The finding offers insights that could increase the uptake of renewable energy and reduce the problems associated with traditional fuels.

Keywords: Household energy, renewable energy, accessibility, cooking and lighting

DOI: 10.7176/JETP/9-7-04

Publication date:October 31st 2019

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3232 ISSN (Online)2225-0573

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