Addressing gaps in the enabling environment for small and medium-scale biodigesters in Kenya


In Kenya, approximately 2.3 million homes have sufficient feedstock and water for biogas production, although only about 86,355 had been installed by 2018. A new study commissioned by SNV under the Africa Biogas Component (ABC) project focuses on creating an enabling environment for the biodigester market and clear guidance on addressing specific gaps in the industry.

Biogas is a clean burning fuel whose mass uptake would significantly enhance Kenya’s goal of universal clean cooking by 2028. However, as outlined in the study, several challenges, such as a lack of an enabling environment, demand and supply side issues, low finance, and limited awareness, have led to the stagnation of the biodigester sector at its pioneering phase.

Africa Biogas Component (ABC) Project

The ABC project is implemented by a consortium between the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and SNV in partnership with The African Bioenergy Programs Ltd (ABPL) in Kenya.

The ABC-K project seeks to achieve a sustainable, stable and growing market for biodigesters that significantly contribute to achieving national sustainable agricultural production, energy access, and climate targets. This is achieved by following a market-based approach to triggering demand, promoting the supply of high-quality technology and services and improving the enabling environment. Specifically, the project aims at facilitating a shift in the biodigester market from its pioneering to the expansion phase.

Within the context of these overarching objectives of the project, SNV seeks to drive a proactive and supportive enabling environment for biodigesters in Kenya while supporting the demand side through targeted awareness-raising measures.

Objectives of the study

The study's primary goal is to inform SNV and the project partners of the specific deficiencies in Kenya's enabling environment for biodigesters and how to address these gaps throughout the ABC-K project effectively.

The specific objectives of the study were to:

  • Identify the significant deficiencies in the enabling environment for biodigesters in Kenya. Using the results of the biogas Energy Access Market Development (EAMD) assessments and the Regulatory Indicators for Sustainable Energy (RISE) developed by the Energy Sector Management Assistance Programme (ESMAP).

  • Provide concrete recommendations to address gaps and improve on existing frameworks.

  • Undertake a sector deep dive of the country's existing sector associations and their membership base and assess the association's advocacy capabilities, overlapping and conflicting mandates, and technical needs assessment for technical and operational capacity building needs.

Results and conclusion

The study outlines recommendations to address the gaps in biodigesters and bio-slurry uptake in Kenya. Examples include setting up special consumer funding facilities collaborating with finance institutions, improving coordination among lead government agencies and counties, developing training curricula and certification of technicians, and strengthening sector associations through an on-demand technical assistance facility.

The results of this study will shape ABC's enabling environment strategy and design the implementation instruments, such as the on-demand Technical Assistance (TA) facility and an action plan for comprehensive capacity building for the sector players in the national government, county, and sector associations.

The results of the assessment of the technical capacities available in biodigester companies and support structures in the various counties for the construction, operation, and maintenance of biodigesters will inform the project implementation and ways to deliver the interventions and ways to address sectoral gaps.

For more information

For more information, please download the complete study here. Also, don't hesitate to contact Victor Gathogo, Advisor Enabling Environment and Capacity Building, at vgathogo@snv.org.