Factors Influencing Adoption of Biomass Energy Conservation Technologies in Selected Areas of Kitui County, Kenya



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David Publishing Company


In Kenya, demand for biomass energy has increased due to increasing population and urbanization and high cost of alternative energy sources. This coupled with use of inefficient production and utilization technologies, has led to increased deforestation, environmental degradation and increased health impacts. In Kenya, a number of improved technologies have been developed and promoted; however, adoption still remains low. This study sought to assess factors influencing adoption of biomass energy conservation technologies in four selected areas of Kitui County, Kenya. Data were collected using a structured questionnaire and guidelines for institutional and focus group discussions. Sampling was done through purposive and stratified random sampling. Results revealed three categories of biomass energy conservation technologies: energy saving stoves (46%), woodlots (9%) and improved charcoal conversion kilns (2%). The mean percentage adoption rate in the four study areas stood at 48% with Chuluni having the highest (51%) while Kitui West had the least (46%). Agriculture (28%), forestry (26%) and NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations)/CBOs (Community-Based Organizations) (23%) were indicated as the main sources of information, while field days (35%), community trainings (30%) and demonstrations sites (22%) were the most preferred dissemination channels. High cost of technologies, lack of awareness, financial constraints, cultural preferences, gender aspects, lack of follow up programmes and inadequate capacity to enforce implementation of existing energy policies and regulation were indicated as key constraints to adoption of technologies. The study recommends development of a joint implementation strategy and follow up programmes that will look at the cost of technologies, dissemination channels and involvement of stakeholders’ in development and dissemination of biomass energy conservation technologies.