Between 9th & 13th January 2017, Christian Aid (CA), in Partnership with the Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) commissioned Infotrak to conduct an opinion poll survey. The survey was to help understand the levels of demands for clean energy in Kenya; Kenyans’ interests for a clean environment; as well as to whether delivery of clean energy would influence the voting patterns by the electorates. Results indicated that 49% of Kenyans were concerned to a great deal about climate change while another 39% were somewhat concerned. This brought the total of those concerned about climate change to 88%. Whereas 69% of the respondents felt that both levels of government (National and County) need to do more to address climate change, only 27% of the population seemed satisfied with the current actions by the government in responding to the menace. Thus, 73% of Kenya’s population are not satisfied with government’s actions to respond to Climate Change.
64% of Kenyans indicated that they are more likely to vote for a political party that is committed to providing clean energy.
In Nyanza, 80% of population indicated keen interest on parties that would include clean energy on their party manifesto, while in N. Eastern; it was 73% of the population that indicated the same. Rift Valley and Eastern showed 69% and 68% respectively. More than half of those in Western and Central are also keen to see the clean energy agenda addressed by political parties and candidates. However, at the Coast, more than half of the electorates would not be influenced by the inclusion of energy in the campaign agenda. As such, as we get into the campaigning period, clean energy is bound to be an extremely important issue across the country, as political parties sell their agenda to the electorate.
HOW KENYANS USE ENERGY
Only about 92,000 of Kenyan households (less than 1%) use Clean/renewable sources of energy for cooking. Majority still use Charcoal & wood, including in the urban areas where more than a third of the households, representing 39%, still use this source of energy for cooking.
This means that almost 7 million (out of the 10.3 million) households in Kenya still use traditional sources of energy for cooking. Given options for alternative sources of energy (clean versus dirty), 20% of the house-holds (1.4 million) still showed preference for the biomass as opposed to clean energy. This is despite the negative effects of these sources of energy on the health of users (respiratory effects), as well as the negative effects to the environment – degradation.
Biomass (Charcoal & wood) and Kerosene are perceived to be the most affordable sources of energy by a majority of Kenyans. 41% of those in North Eastern still believe that Charcoal and wood are the most affordable sources of energy while 30% of those in Nyanza and Eastern and 28% of those in Rift Valley hold the same perceptions. On the other hand, LPG gas is not perceived to be affordable even in Nairobi where 69% use it for cooking. Only 17% of those in Nairobi perceive LPG Gas to be an affordable source of energy. Biogas and wind energy are not perceived to be very affordable.
Electricity from KPLC is perceived to be affordable as compared to solar, wind and the rest with 53% of Kenyan households currently using electricity from the company. 29% uses kerosene and 12% solar for lighting. 25% of those not currently connected indicated preference for KPLC’s power for lighting, as opposed to the rest. In the urban places, 82% of the households are connected to KPLC; while only 39% of the rural population is connected with 38% using kerosene for lighting
Penetration of KPLC is lowest in Western (14%), Eastern – (38%) and Nyanza (42%) areas that are perceived to be opposition stronghold.
On the other hand, although still perceived as unaffordable, penetration of solar seems to be growing in the country, currently standing at 20% nationwide.