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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2020

Environmental Sustainability of Bioenergy Strategies in Western Kenya to Address Household Air Pollution

Carvalho, Ricardo Luis; Yadav, Pooja; Garcia-Lopez, Natxo; Lindgren, Robert; Nyberg, Gert; Diaz-Chavez, Rocio; Upadhyayula, Venkata Krishna Kumar; Boman, Christoffer; Athanassiadis, Dimitris


Over 640 million people in Africa are expected to rely on solid-fuels for cooking by 2040. In Western Kenya, cooking inefficiently persists as a major cause of burden of disease due to household air pollution. Efficient biomass cooking is a local-based renewable energy solution to address this issue. The Life-Cycle Assessment tool Simapro 8.5 is applied for analyzing the environmental impact of four biomass cooking strategies for the Kisumu County, with analysis based on a previous energy modelling study, and literature and background data from the Ecoinvent and Agrifootprint databases applied to the region. A Business-As-Usual scenario (BAU) considers the trends in energy use until 2035. Transition scenarios to Improved Cookstoves (ICS), Pellet-fired Gasifier Stoves (PGS) and Biogas Stoves (BGS) consider the transition to wood-logs, biomass pellets and biogas, respectively. An Integrated (INT) scenario evaluates a mix of the ICS, PGS and BGS. In the BGS, the available biomass waste is sufficient to be upcycled and fulfill cooking demands by 2035. This scenario has the lowest impact on all impact categories analyzed followed by the PGS and INT. Further work should address a detailed socio-economic analysis of the analyzed scenarios.


agroforestry; waste valorization; sustainable development goals; renewable energy; bioenergy transitions; circular bioeconomy; clean cooking; life-cycle assessment; energy policy

Published in

2020, Volume: 13, number: 3, article number: 719
Publisher: MDPI