What you need to know:
- Although at the initial stage many find it costly the raw material, that is cow dung and pig droppings, are free.
- The world is encouraging clean and green energy and methane use from farming activities.
The prohibitive cost of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), or cooking gas, as a result of the recent fuel price increase should pave the way for Kenyans, especially zero-grazing dairy and pig farmers, to explore the option of biogas.
The clean energy is readily available. Although at the initial stage many find it costly — considering the installation costs of the bio-digester, the receptacle that stores the methane gas produced, and the installations up to the houses — the raw material, that is cow dung and pig droppings, are free.
Those who have installed the bio-digesters and are using biogas for cooking and lighting have reaped the benefits. However, if improperly installed, a bio-digester can blow up with dire repercussions. But these cases are negligible compared to the almost costless usage of it. Besides, the effluent from the bio-digesters will still be used as manure.
The world is encouraging clean and green energy and methane use from farming activities. Some counties have embraced bio-digesters to resolve the problem of green waste in markets. Kenyans are yet to exploit the potential of the energy resources within their grasp. Slaughterhouses can be a source of a lot of biogas that neighbouring homes and institutions could use — at a fee.
Biogas is not a new concept in Kenya. We have companies that deal with installation of bio-digester receptacles. Mumias Sugar Company had the idea of generating energy from the bargasse waste from sugarcane and feeding it into the national grid. But the move came a cropper after the factory collapsed.
Alongside all the efforts the country is making in trying to acquire alternative and clean energy, including wind power and geothermal, our farmers should be encouraged to use what is readily available to them at little or no cost at all.
Mr Kigo is an environment officer. [email protected]