The ultimate aim of the IREK project is to contribute to the creation of universal access to modern energy services, and therefore to the reduction of energy poverty.
The IREK project also aims to:
- Improve knowledge on North-South and South-South cooperation in deployment of renewable energy. The goal is to examine how outcomes of international cooperation on low carbon technologies can be shaped and transformed to become efficient in terms of energy production and social inclusion.
- Equip policymakers in relevant ministries (Ministry of Energy and Petroleum in particular) with a better foundation for selecting and deploying available technologies in a way that increases ‘inclusiveness’.
- Equip stakeholders (Climate Innovation Centre, Kenya Renewable Energy Associations etc.) with an improved understanding of concrete and efficient ways to combine efforts of electrification with the management of international interactive learning between producers, suppliers and users of the technologies.
- Equip stakeholders with a better foundation for selecting and deploying available technologies in a way that increases inclusiveness and contributes to poverty reduction.
- Build a stronger research capacity and domain expertise at ACTS, Moi University and Aalborg University in the field of ‘innovation and development’ with particular reference to low-carbon development.
- Contribute with new theoretical contributions and applied studies that combine value chain with innovation system perspective that will be reflected in the literature.
The project aligns closely with the ‘Right to a better life’ strategy for Denmark’s development cooperation, particularly with regard to identifying appropriate ways forward in the following areas:
- Enhanced access to energy which contributes to local development and learning.
- Innovative technological and financial solutions in the area of energy.
- Framework conditions for green growth which benefit the poor.
The project aims to work out the implications of the results for policy makers, donor organisations and business organisations as well as for end-users.
The project will give rise to new knowledge at three different levels important for designing sustainable development strategies in Kenya and other African countries:
(1) It will test the hypothesis that South-South collaboration has a special relevance for inclusive development.
(2) It will develop an understanding of the prerequisites for realising the potential in international technological learning.
(3) It will develop new theory and new concepts by combining the national innovation system perspective with global value chain approach and through combining the innovation studies perspective with the science, technology and society perspective.
Like other Sub-Sahara African countries, Kenya faces the challenge of increasing demand for modern energy services in the face of its high population growth.
This project’s theory of change asserts that access to better and more relevant knowledge regarding the opportunities afforded by low carbon technologies can be used to inspire more appropriate policy and decision making by users, producers, governments and other stakeholders. In particular, we expect this project to highlight how solar and wind technologies can be more effectively introduced at a range of scales (household, community and nationally) to promote business opportunities, job creation and other factors that can lead to more sustainable livelihoods – resulting in policies that contribute to universal energy access and reduction of energy poverty in Kenya.