By GVEP Blog
Biogas technology is an alternative energy source for cooking and lighting for farmers, who in Kenya make up 80% of the rural population.
However with the industry promoting a rapid uptake of biogas construction there is a growing concern among many stakeholders that an increase in the number of poor quality constructions is damaging faith in the technology.
At a recent stakeholder’s forum for Kenya’s biogas industry, a local contractor describes to me how many of his potential customers are unwilling to adopt the technology after experience with a failed plant and how so-called ‘quacks’ – untrained masons constructing low quality plants – are affecting consumer trust.
Financiers too, need to be assured that their investments will lead to a successful project. Family Bank in Kenya already offer a finance package for domestic biogas construction, yet the approval rate is low. A representative of the bank explained to me how their confidence in the industry would increase if recognised certification existed for reliable contractors.
As market concentration increases, service quality should improve as sub-standard providers lose out to competition. But until then stakeholders in biogas must promote quality as well as quantity if enough confidence is to be gained to expand this technology into a widespread and sustainable industry in Kenya.