Nairobi is one city that has been characterised by high costs of living. One of the major contributors is the high cost of energy in the capital. The cost of energy has been ever escalating upwards. In 2017, power cost has over the last one year grown by 20 percent, while the three commonly used fuels of kerosene, diesel and super petrol have hit a three-year high. We can argue that it was due to the drought levels which affected the economy together with the prolonged electioneering period.
The President, on his swearing, promised a cut in the energy costs for manufacturing companies. This is a move to increase the economic production of the manufacturing sector. We can hope and wait to see this take charge, and eventually the cost of energy decrease or become innovative and come up with green energy technologies to solve our energy problems.
Green energy comes from natural sources such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, plants, algae and geothermal heat. These energy resources are renewable, meaning they’re naturally replenished. Since 1990, the production of “green” electricity in Germany has increased by 1,000% and export rates, according to preliminary data for 2017, just smashed another record… Some days, electricity prices actually go into the negative and nuclear power plants must reduce their energy generation by as much as half to prevent significant costs mounting up, this was the case on 28 January. (Adapted from Financial Tribune).
The Kenyan government has made several steps towards having a green economy and has developed a strategy that seeks to consolidate, scale up and embed green growth initiatives in National Development Goals. The Green Economy Strategy and Implementation Plan (GESIP) provides the overall policy framework to facilitate a transition to a green economy and outlines the need to mainstream and align green economy initiatives across the economic, social and environmental spheres.
This strategy is one that basically recommends the use of natural resources of energy at our various places of work. Kenya has promising potential for power generation from renewable energy sources. Abundant solar, hydro, wind, biomass and geothermal resources led the government to seek the expansion of renewable energy generation to central and rural areas.
In order to achieve this goal, every single citizen needs to be responsible for the amount and type of energy they use. Unless you’re filthy rich, you’re probably always on the lookout for ways to save a couple bucks. One of the best ways to cut your monthly bills is by investing in renewable energy. Not from the power plant, but stuff you can get yourself.
Rooftop Solar Panels
This is probably the most common and obvious method if you’re looking into renewable power. Solar panels typically go on your roof, although you can also install them in your garden. Depending on your latitude and the orientation of the panels, you could generate 10 or more watts per square foot. A typical house consumes at least a kilowatt of power, so a few square feet of solar panels should be enough to power most or all of your needs.
Perhaps you’re not ready to power your entire home with renewable energy. That’s a big project, and maybe it’s just not feasible for all sorts of reasons. You can still power a part of your home with renewable energy by building a solar oven. Solar ovens are typically a science fair project, but ovens actually use quite a bit of electricity. Using the sun to passively heat your food is a good way to get started in the world of renewable energy. Solar ovens work by trapping sunlight to heat food. You can buy a solar oven or build your own out of a few common materials.
Solar ovens have several advantages, in that they heat your food for free, and they work even during a power outage or emergency. You’ll never have to have a cold meal due to a lack of power.
Solar Water Heater
Solar water heaters use the sun to heat a reserve of water, which can then be pumped through your radiators or out your faucets or showerheads. This system is much cheaper than using gas or electricity to heat your water and is easier to install than solar panels. If you’re not willing to completely commit to powering your entire home with renewable energy, solar water heating can be a good alternative.
Solar Air Conditioner
It might seem strange to use heat from the sun to cool your home, but that’s exactly what solar air conditioning does. Solar air conditioning uses the same principles of the solar water heater but uses that hot water in an air conditioning system. Air conditioning uses more electricity than almost anything else in your home. Air conditioning can cost you a substantial amount of money every year, especially if you have central air and you live in a hot climate. Using hot water to cool your home can save you money and help the environment.
As a bonus, the hot water produced for air conditioning can also be used for other applications in your home. Depending on your setup, you can get the benefits of solar water heating with bonus air conditioning as well.
These are some of the alternative measures you can use to power your home. But the first thing you should do before switching to green power sources is simple: cut back on the electricity you use now by increasing your energy efficiency.