Currently, research sub-projects in Renewable Energy have been initiated at JKUAT in collaboration with two universities in Japan; AIT (Ashikaga Institute of Technology) and OCU (Osaka City University). Researchers in the IEET (Institute of Energy and Environmental technology), in collaboration with various departments at JKUAT with support from their Japanese counterparts, are undertaking research in wind energy, solar PV, biomass and small hydro-power.
There are nine (9) on-going R&D sub-projects in Solar PV (1), Small Wind Energy (2), Biomass Generation (3), Small Hydro power (2) and Hybrid System (1) in progress. These sub-projects are joint research projects where counterparts from AIT and OCU in Japan work in conjunction with JKUAT researchers.
Of these sub-projects, one is moving into the second phase in the third quarter of 2014. The “Biogas Production Using Water Hyacinth as the Feedstock for Electricity Generation in Kenya” obtained favourable results and it will be scaled up and implemented as a pilot project in Kisumu City’s Dunga beach, in conjunction with Ecofinder Kenya. It is expected that the other sub-projects will follow in the same suit and will be implemented in various areas as examples of how academic research can directly benefit the local communities with rural electrification using renewable energy and its industries as well.