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Open Africa Power 2018

Open Africa Power 2018




Name: Germaine Ashu Erocknfor Epse Besong

Bio: Born on Oct 4th 1987, Germaine is a wife and a mother of 2. She holds a BSc in Electrical & Electronics Engineering from Regional Maritime University, Accra-Ghana and a MEng in Renewable Energy Technology from the National Advanced School of Public Works, Yaounde – Cameroon in partnership with University of Padova – Italy. Since 2010, she has worked as Electrical Engineer at Electricity Development Corporation, Yaounde – Cameroon, a State Owned Enterprise incharge of the execution of power projects.

In 2015, she designed a cost-effective model of a solar charging station for five villages in Cameroon and uses her free time to work with villages on the replication of the model, tailoring it to their energy needs. She provides consultancy advice on the best solar products on the Cameroonian markets and seeks to be a distributor of solar products in the nearest future.

Germaine is very passionate about mentoring young girls to take up the challenge and venture into Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields especially newly discovered technological domains and uses her free time to teach girls how to develop mobile applications under the Technovation Challenge Program.

Capstone Project – Research Proposal: Design and implementation of a low-cost solar charging station as business opportunities in rural areas.

Abstract: The results of this investigation would express the necessity of installations of mobile communication and household lighting in the research zone and will further lead to the design of an optimum and low cost model of a solar charging station, estimative costing 274 050 CFAF/station. 550CFAF=1US$.  A financial projection has also been done here using estimative daily charging rates of 100 CFAF/phone and 200 CFAF/lantern which yields a payback period of 2.4 months (114 000 CFAF generated monthly) and a return on investment exceeding 20 000 000 CFAF, over the lifespan of the solar panel (25 years).


Name: Jean-Philippe Seya

Bio: Jean-Philippe has a international experience in energy sector, working across multifunctional positions in project teams in more than 15 African countries: field engineer, project engineer, power systems designer, supporting Technical / Commercial / Financial operations. He’s actively working on improving energy access across Africa countries with a particular focus on micro grids, renewable and energy efficiency. The Open Africa Power Initiative has been a wonderful journey, from Kenya to Italy, exploring the future of energy-related policies and regulations which are no doubt key strategic issues for rural electrification and renewable expansion. Jean-Philippe hold an Energy Engineering Master from the National Polytechnic Institute of Yamoussoukro (INPHB) and a certification in Public management focused on Energy Policies from University of California, Davis.

Capstone Project – Research Proposal: Grid optimization in industrial areas through smart grid, renewables and storage integration. A business approach.

Abstract: Electrical Networks are the core of the electrical system. Developing clean generation technologies is key, but this is useless without networks infrastructures modernization. A smart grid allows energy flows in two directions and is capable of matching the supply and demand of energy. This capability has the advantage to tackle randomness, intermittency, and the unbalanced nature of renewable energy. By using energy in a flexible and controllable way, renewable generated energy can be better integrated in the power system. A large potential of this demand side management could be found in industrial sector.


Name: Amare Assefa Ashagire

Bio: Amare Assefa  holds, ,B.Sc and M.sc. degree In Electrical Engineering from Addis Ababa University.  Currently he is a PhD student in University de Lorraine, France and Addis Ababa University on joint program. He is serving as a lecturer at School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Addis Ababa Institute of Technology, Addis Ababa University.  He is a member of Ethiopian Electrical Engineers Society and his research interest are microgrids, renewable energy  technologies and power system protection and reliability

Capstone Project – Research Proposal: Feasibility study on pre-assembled modular hybrid powerhouse and hybrid AC/DC distribution for rural electrification: case of Ethiopia.

Abstract: In this research the technical feasibility, economic analysis and implementation roadmap of pre-assembled 20 feet container powerhouse and hybrid AC-DC micro grid will

be evaluated. Pre-assembled 20 feet container powerhouse model comprises diesel generator, power management units, busbars, coupling points for solar and wind and storage batteries. The innovative model will significantly decreases the technical and implementation challenges of existing micro-grids for rural electrification.

Name: Dawit Habtu Gebremeskel

Capstone Project – Research Proposal: Distribution feeder outage location, isolation and service restoration to mitigate power outages in distribution system.

Abstract: Traditional distribution systems were designed to perform one function: distribute electrical energy to end-users. However, with the ongoing power system digitalization technology, the remote control of switches to locate, isolate faults and restore the service when a fault occurs in power distribution lines is possible. This results in a highly reliable, self-healing power system that responds rapidly to real-time events with appropriate actions. This Capstone Project intends to study the development of appropriate distribution feeder technology that can detect, locate, isolate outages and finally restore service to mitigate the power outages occurring on the existing Ethiopian Electric Utility’s (EEU’s) distribution system.

Name: Ashenafi Girma Wondimu

Bio: Mr. Ashenafi obtained his B.Sc. Degree from Adama Science and Technology University in 2013 after studying Electrical and Control Engineering. He was also a part of the team that received second prize award from Society of Engineering Students during Millennium Engineering National Award (MENA2005) innovation Competition in 2013 with the project Automatic Watering System.

He joined ENGIE Africa as a customer solutions business development manager on October 1, 2018 and has since worked on business development of ENGIE in Ethiopia. Before he joined ENGIE Africa; he used to work as distribution operation and construction Electrical Engineer  for Universal Electricity Access Program (UEAP) under Ethiopian Electric Utility (EEU) from August 18, 2014 to September 27, 2018.

He also attended ‘2015 seminar on rural Electrification for English speaking African Countries’ organized by Hangzhou Regional Center (HRC); ‘Energy Efficiency in Emerging Economies’ course organized by International Energy Agency (IEA); ‘Customer Seminar for Power and Energy Industry' organized by Endress+Hauser academy; advanced training course 'deployment of renewable energy solutions: challenges and opportunities" organized by RES4MED&Africa; "Regulation for Universal Access to Energy" online course organized by Florence School of Regulation (FSR); and 'Open Africa Power' African Module and Italian Module organized by Enel Foundation in collaboration with Strathmore University and University of Nairobi.

Capstone Project – Research Proposal: Enabling private sector investment in Mini-grid based rural electrification in Ethiopia.

Abstract: The purpose of this research study is to identify the main challenges that impede private sector engagement in mini-grid projects, and recommends necessary actions needed to be taken in order to accelerate private sector engagement in the development of mini-grids; identify suitable business model based on the experiences of operating mini-grids in Ethiopia and/or other countries and explains the choices they make regarding different technologies and business ownership models, and evaluate how these choices are working out in practice; provide guidance that help local private developer in order to conduct initial studies, design, develop and submit bankable proposal for mini-grid projects; provide information on key stakeholders and their role, status of rural electrification and mini-grids in Ethiopia, National Energy Policy, regulatory framework, source of financing, resource potential, available provisions for licensing and permit approval procedures, tax regimes.


Name: Fredrick Oluleka Amariati

Bio: Fredrick Amariati is an Energy Economist, working with local clean/ renewable energy energy developers in Kenya and East Africa region both as a Transaction Advisor on Concessional project funding and Consultant, with over six years experience in the energy sector. Currently, he is working on a World Bank funded Regional Off grid Electrification Project(ROGEP) as a technical analyst and as the information flow coordinator. Previously, he has proactively participated in the review process of the Solar water heating regulations in Kenya. He has also participated in the Open Africa Power Program hosted in Kenya and Italy where he presented to the Italian Foreign Ministry on the need to support research in the emerging issues resulting from adoption of renewable energy through robust regulatory frameworks. He is super excited about the idea of an African School of Regulations to support the governance of the electricity sector in developing countries. He holds an MSc in Energy Economics and Policy from the University of surrey, UK and a certification of excellence (Master Level) in Regulations for Universal Access to Energy from Florence School of Regulation, Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, European University Institute.

Capstone Project – Research Proposal: Renewable energy policy impact for Kenya renewable energy auctions and derogations: a new frontier in the race to universal energy access for Kenya.

Abstract: This research proposal is about comprehensively analyzing the impact of Kenya’s FIT policy, solar regulations and assessing the markets readiness for energy auctions and derogation schemes. Ultimately, the research seeks to cultivate the practice of evidence-based decision making in the energy sector, periodic impact assessments and bring the private sector to reality of the huge role it has to play in the policy and regulations making space.

Name: Vane Moraa Aminga

Bio: Vane Aminga is a Research Assistant in the Climate Change and Risk Programme at the Stockholm International Peace Research Insitute (SIPRI). Her research work focuses on the linkages between low carbon (renewable energy) development projects and conflict in fragile communities of East Africa. Before joining SIPRI, she worked at the Strathmore Energy Research Centre in Nairobi, where her research outputs were geared towards eradicating energy-related vulnerabilities for off-grid populations; policy and regulatory reforms; climate change and increased energy access. It is during this time that she joined Enel Foundation's Open Africa Initiative to access world-class knowledge and skills, and grow her networks in the energy sector.  She has also gained relevant technical experience working as an energy engineer at SolarGen Technologies and Gill Consult Ltd, Kenya.

Vane has extensively volunteered in disenfranchised communities of Kenya through Fly Sister Fly Foundation which she founded in 2011. The foundation designs and implements economic and social justice empowerment programmes for pastoralist women, including access to education, knowledge on climate change and energy access initiatives.  This work lays the foundation for her current research work at SIPRI. She holds a BSc in Mechanical Engineering, a leadership course from the University of Cambridge and an MSc in Sustainable Energy Systems from the University of Edinburgh. Her current interests lie in the power of multidisciplinary research for sustainable development in the Global South.  

Capstone Project – Research Proposal: Role of Digitisation in Collecting Data in Resource Costrained Settings, Focusing on MIT’s Reference Electrification Model (REM).

Abstract: The World Bank recently rolled out the Scaling Solar initiative that aims to open up Africa’s renewable energy landscape to utility scale private investments. Most of these projects will be located in rural areas, where grid expansion efforts would be very expensive. Additionally, computational modelling tools for rural electrification planning such as Reference Electrification model (REM) are curbed by the challenge of accessing the customer’s data for demand estimations. This proposal attempts to elucidate a possible data amassment framework that will bank on the success of one open source crowdsourcing platform and the digitization brought about by the proliferation of mobile telephony in African countries.

Name: Hesborn Resugu Ayub

Bio: Hesborn Rasugu was born in Western Kenya. He is a trained mechanical engineer with a deed passion for renewable energy. Currently, he is a PhD Candidate and Tutorial Fellow at Egerton University in Nairobi.

Capstone Project – Research Proposal:  Modelling, Simulating and Fabricating an off-grid automatic parabolic solar cooker with a steam storage.

Abstract: Solar cooking is lowly used due to the challenges affecting this technology which this research seeks to tackle. The two major challenges affecting parabolic solar cooking are reliance on alternating current (AC) tracking or manual tracking and also lack of an efficient heat storage medium for use in the night and morning when most of the cooking is done yet there is no sunlight insulation. The main objective is to model, simulate and pick the best design of a self-tracking parabolic solar cooker suitable to serve a single household. A mathematical model of the cooking, space heating and water heating heat energy as well as tracking and lighting electrical energy requirement for a single household will be calculated. Then design of components will be done where some will be bought and others fabricated and assembled. The model will be validated to investigate if it works as per the design. The self-tracking parabolic steam storage cooker is expected to solve the problem of tracking by using a D.C battery that will run a solar tracker and solar PV panel will charge this battery to make it sustainable and use in off-grid areas. The steam tank which is heat loss insulated will store steam during the day to allow night and morning cooking by use of two steamers (steam coils), also the use of exit steam from coils for space heating and water heating purposes. This research targets at solving this problem and make solar cooking possible when the sun has set a reality in the world. As we tackle indoor pollution challenge due to combustion based cooking energy sources that cause respiratory diseases. This will reduce global warming and climate change due to reduced use of forest firewood and charcoal and bring many more benefits when successful.

Name: Julius Kilonzi Charles

Bio: I am a Kenyan citizen by birth, born and raised in the semi-arid Eastern part of the Country (Kitui County). I attended my Primary and Secondary school education in the same county between 1993 and 2004 after which I moved to the capital city (Nairobi) to attend my University Education in one of the prestigious universities in the country, University of Nairobi.

I joined the university in 2006 to pursue a five-year course in Electrical and Electronic engineering and graduated in 2011 with a Bachelor’s Degree. After my graduation, I got the University of Nairobi Scholarship to undertake a Master’s degree, which I enrolled for in the same year and graduated in 2014 with a Master’s Degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering (Specialization in Power Systems).

In October 2011, I joined Aggreko International Power Projects Limited as a Generation Specialist (Electrical) where I was involved in different generation projects in Kenya, Guinea Conakry, Djibouti and Eritrea until August 2015 when I left the company. Since then I have been working with Kenya Power and Lighting Company Limited as a Power System Planning Engineer. I am also pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Electrical Engineering from the University of Nairobi Kenya.

Two things emerge top on my passion in the energy sector: Rural Electrification and Power System Optimization in both planning and operation of power system networks. I strongly believe that these coupled with proper policies and regulations will be key in the push to realize universal access to quality, affordable and clean energy by 2030 as stipulated in SDG 7.

Capstone Project - Research Proposal: GTEP co-optimization and anticipatory planning in Kenya: A drive towards Increased RE penetration and realization of affordable quality electricity supply.

Abstract: This research paper proposes a study aimed at developing an optimization tool for co-optimizing Generation and Transmission Expansion Planning (GTEP) in the country with the view of minimizing total cost of investment and production while ensuring quality and sustainability of supply in the country. The co-optimization will help maximize on the benefits of RE by promoting their penetration to the grid through anticipatory planning aimed at taking advantage of the expected Energy Auction Policy. The results from this integrated plan will be optimal compared to those of separate GEP and TEP, which often result to sub-optimal results once combined during implementation. The intention is to make the developed tool open for incorporation of other services like energy storage and demand side management strategies as may be applicable.

Name: Peter Kairu Kanyingi

Capstone Project - Research Proposal: Local production of smart meters and a central control platform for Kenyan micro grids and the utility.

Abstract: At grid level, Kenya has a very low penetration of smart metering technology. Pre-paid meters have been extensively installed. However, they have proven not to be very effective in power bill collection due to an increase in unpaid bills a few years after their introduction. In addition, with an expected proliferation of micro grids in Kenya, local solutions for application in these micro grids should be developed to promote local production capacity and create employment opportunities as well. An approach to locally develop smart meters and a central control platform for application in micro grids and the utility are proposed. The approach is based on a smart meter design competition that will be open to local experts and students. The locally designed smart meters will be expected to provide the following basic functionalities; voltage, current, frequency and power factor measurements as well as daily energy consumption.

Name: Dorothy Mueni Kitheka

Capstone Project – Research Proposal: Project KE - Easing Mobility in Nairobi City

Abstract: This proposal is about e-mobility as a way of easing traffic congestion problem in Nairobi city, and restoring it back to its former status as the “green city in the sun”. The proposal is a hybrid model for electric cars and motorbikes, powered by solar energy thereby  reducing overreliance on fossil fuels. The other element of the model is a safety jacket, which improves road safety for drivers and passengers. The project is to be carried out in three stages, between 2019 and 2030, and aims at creating over 5,000 jobs, reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 100,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year and promoting gender inclusion. This model is adaptable to other big towns in Kenya and Africa.

Name: Judith Chepkorir Koskey

Bio: Judith Koskey is a PhD. Student taking Environmental Science in Egerton University. Her research has been on water and particularly fresh water ecosystem with specific interest in water quality and macroinvertebrates. Other areas of interest include environmental pollution, climate change environmental health and environmental conservation and management. Alongside her research, Judith has been a part-time lecturer at Egerton University mentoring students in the different the different environmental areas of research with the view to become an informer on environmental matters both on the local and global spheres. She was recently accepted as one of the contributing-authors of the Global Environmental Outlook – youth section - an international magazine that reports in the arising global environmental issues of concern. She has also supported efforts to promote environmental conservation being part of community outreach programs and projects with the aim of rehabilitation of the Mau forest for the future generations. Judith has earned her Bsc. and Msc in Evironmental Sciences from Egerton University.

Capstone Project – Research Proposal: Rural Electrification: an Assessment on the in-use Stocks of off-grid Solar Products and E.E.E. in Rural Households in Kenya.

Abstract: This research project aims to describe a methodological framework to assess in-use stocks of off-grid solar products and electrical and electronic equipment (EEE) for rural communities in Kenya. The methodology is based on energy-access data. Also assessed are the specifics of the characteristics of off-grid solar products. The methodology will be applied to rural Kenya and some of the existing solar home system (SHS) programs. By the end of 2016, around 4.1 million SHSs were installed in Kenya. This type of access to electricity has a significant impact on the in-use stocks, as households add the comparatively heavy SHSs to their in-use stocks. In-use stocks of EEE, in general, are low. Off-grid solar products are lighter than standard EEE, and fewer products types are available. The findings of this research project will help to provide a better understanding on the material stocks and future waste flows in the given context and will support the adaption of recycling infrastructures in Kenya and which can also be implemented in other developing countries.

Name: Macben Mutua Makenzi

Bio: Macben Makenzi is an automation and energy engineer with over 10 years’ experience in industrial automation, energy audits and renewable energy projects. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechatronic Engineering, a Master’s degree in Energy Technology and a Master’s degree in Mechatronic Engineering. During the past decade, his work has focused on design, evaluation and development of techno-efficient solutions for different industrial setups. He has also led the execution of several renewable energy projects in the East Africa region. Additionally, as a Certified Energy Manager (CEM®), he implements investment grade audits for different clients. Macben holds several industrial licenses including Solar PV T3 license and Energy audit license (Grade A) from the Energy Regulatory Commission of Kenya (ERC), Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) license from NEMA and several other international certifications. When not engaging students at the university and mentoring up-coming engineers, Macben enjoys working-out, going on hikes, and exploring the world with the wife and kids.

Capstone Project – Research Proposal: Electricity from Lake Victoria: innovative offshore, off-grid electrification concept of the Kenyan lake basin.

Abstract: The proposed project seeks to introduce and research on an innovative concept that aims at optimally utilizing these fish cages as offshore, off-the-grid Solar PV installation sites. The absence of a reliable grid and the huge existing demand on both household and productive-use levels of the lakeshore settlements provides sufficient justification to consider this approach. Strong advantages, which support this innovative model, include the regulatory and financial ease that would accompany establishment of such a setup. This would also be coupled with the fact that cages are being installed at a rapid scale on the lake and easy adaptation of the same to host PV arrays presents itself as an advantage.

Name: Ignatius Waikwa Maranga

Bio: I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), currently at the Strathmore Energy Research Centre (SERC) as a Research Assistant.

Capstone Project - Research Proposal: Design and development of a power line communication based metering system in Kenya.

Abstract: Real time energy monitoring by power utilities is an important energy management practice that is becoming a norm in developing countries. The importance is highlighted by the challenges that follow with improper or no energy monitoring. Examples are revenue losses incurred by utility companies due to vandalism, energy wastage and high electricity bills incurred by electricity consumers. Due to these reasons, utility companies and electricity consumers are employing various energy monitoring techniques. Kenya Power, a power distribution company in Kenya, is currently installing Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) based smart meters as a pilot program with the aim of energy monitoring. They have also installed Keypad Operated Pre-paid meters to reduce the losses they incur due to vandalism.

In this project, a low voltage Power Line Communication (PLC) metering system is proposed. The PLC metering system is aimed at solving the above mentioned issues through real time monitoring by the Utility Company. Consumption data from each consumer is sent via the power line to data concentrators at the transformer. At this point, the received data is uploaded to the Utility Company’s servers.

Name: Stella Musyawa Mutuku

Bio: Stella has expertise in corporate sustainability and background in Economics. Her focus is on engaging organizations to develop and implements strategy, process, and systems to support sustainability and corporate responsibility – linking people, planet, and profits. Through an innovative lens, she guides a culture of sustainability, both internally and with all stakeholder relationships. Stella holds an MA in Economics from Kyungpook National University, South Korea and BA in Economics and Finance from Kenyatta University Kenya.

Capstone Project – Research Proposal: Deregulating the wheeling of electricity in Kenya.

Abstract: The energy ecosystem is evolving and a blend of innovation, policy shifts, innovation, and changes in energy consumption and production dynamism are the main forces driving the evolution. The increasing role of the private sector in the energy market is signalling a consensus they will be a key engine in realizing SDG 7; universal energy access. Consequently, the saliency of policy, enabling regulatory environment and institutional setting in the phase of energy transition cannot be underscored. This project, therefore, proposes a policy review to deregulate the wheeling of electricity in Kenya. The proposed project will demonstrate that Independent Power Producers (IPPs) cannot competitively operate without equal access to the transmission and distribution network. The output of the study will establish a business case for deregulating the wheeling of electricity, by demonstrating that as opposed to the feed-in tariff mechanism currently adopted, competitive trading of electricity is the optimal mechanism that will promote deployment of more renewable energy investment. Establishing a marginal cost of wheeling to charge the IPPs double as a key challenge and a central question that the proposed project will address.

Name: Faith Mutoni Mwangi

Bio: Ms. Faith Muthoni Mwangi is a statistician by profession. She received her Bachelors’ degree in Actuarial Science (Second Upper Division) and masters, Degree in Applied statistics at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. She currently works for Geothermal Development Company as a planning officer responsible for strategic planning and resource mobilization.

Capstone Project - Research Proposal: Utilization of binary power plants and direct use for low enthalpy geothermal wells.

Abstract: This research paper explores the possibility of generating electricity from low enthalpy geothermal resources and furthermore using the residual heat for direct use in order to uplift the social and economic lives of people living along areas with low temperature resources.

Name: John Edwin Mwangi Ndegwa

Bio: I'm a Mechanical Engineer with experience in the Kenyan and UK Energy sectors. I have good project management skills coupled with hands-on experience in power generation and transmission industries. I have a passion for working in the renewable energy sector and continuous personal development. I recently completed a course on Regulation for Universal Energy Access to gain in-depth knowledge on increasing access to reliable, affordable and sustainable electric power for developing countries.

Capstone Project - Research Proposal: Securing the future: maintenance strategies for renewable energy technologies in Kenya.

Abstract: This research project will assess the current RE technologies in Kenya in the form of Geothermal, Wind, Solar PV, Biogas and Small Hydro and the maintenance strategies in place, sampled at different power plants and modes of generation in Kenya. The project will also investigate the effect of maintenance strategies on the plant performances. Finally, the goal is to derive the long-term and/or indirect benefits of effective maintenance of the RE power plants to the economy and to provide recommendations and considerations for best practice in existing and future installations. 

Name: George Ngugi Ngomi

Bio: George Ngomi holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechatronic Engineering and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Nairobi. He is a Certified Energy Manager (CEM) and a Project Management Professional (PMP). He works at Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) PLC as a Senior Engineer. His role is supervision of operations and maintenance of Olkaria 1 Additional Units (AU), which is the largest geothermal power plant in Africa with an installed capacity of 150.52MW. Prior to his engagement at KenGen, George spearheaded plant continual improvement projects at Associated Battery Manufacturers responsible for manufacture of automotive solar and lead acid batteries.

Capstone Project - Research Proposal: Increasing electricity access in Kenya by optimizing brine use at Olkaria geothermal field in Kenya.

Abstract: Energy provision is considered a critical factor in the race from poverty to prosperity for the continent. According to the 2018 Energy Journal, the progressive electrification of the African continent is moving at a slower pace than the population growth. To overcome this gap, it is prudent to take advantage of opportunities that innovation brings our way. One such opportunity is exploiting brine use in the extensive conventional geothermal power plants located in the Olkaria field in Kenya. This field is considered the forerunner in geothermal energy development in Kenya and it hosts plants such as Olkaria I, Olkaria II, Olkaria 1AU, Olkaria IV and modular wellhead generating units. Since these plants utilize the steam phase of the geothermal fluid flashing process, massive quantities of separated hot brine to the tune of 2,500t/hr. and temperatures of approximately 158-198°C are left unexploited as it is re-injected back to the reservoir. This is therefore wasted energy in the sense that geothermal fluid at temperatures as low as 75°C can be used in binary power plants to produce power. Brine bottoming binary system is a mature and proven technology used worldwide. However, exploiting separated hot brine for power production is an innovative service delivery mechanism that is yet to be developed in Olkaria geothermal field. 

Name: Samson Njuguna Njoroge

Bio: PhD. candidate in Electrical Engineering and hold an MSc. Electrical and Electronic Engineering (Power Systems Option) degree and a BSc. Electrical and Electronic Engineering. My PhD focuses on the use of combined storage systems to lower the cost of renewable micro-grids and enable rural education institutions electrification with emphasis on tariff incentives. I also work as a lecturer within the Electrical and Electronic Engineering Department in Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), the leading technical university in Kenya.

Capstone Project - Research Proposal: Use of African economic blueprints in targeted rural electrification through energy auctions.

Abstract: This paper proposes the identification of key social or economic installations that are key to the realization of the economic blueprint objectives within a region in a country and using them as anchor loads to drive down the cost of rural electrification in that region or attract subsidies from the governments while improving the economic productivity of the region in question. The use of the blue print will also serve as an incentive to the governments to partner with private investors given the political initiative that the blueprints carry with the government. It also proposes developing models for local community involvement in the rural electrification drive for sustainability of the projects.

Name: Marylin Chepkurui Ronoh

Name: Jude Kipkoech Songok

Bio: My name is Jude Songok, born and raised in Kenya. I am a graduate of the University of Nairobi with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a Master of Science in Energy Management. I am currently pursuing a Doctoral Degree in Environmental Policy with research in of rural electrification.

Away from the university studies, I have pursued various trainings in energy and engineering towards career development. I am a registered graduate engineer with the Engineers Board of Kenya, the Institution of Engineers of Kenya, member of the Association of Energy Professionals Eastern Africa, licenced solar water heating technician and also licenced energy auditor with the Energy Regulatory Commission.

Other than pursuit of further studies, I offer consultancy services in energy management and renewable energy for industries and commercial institutions as well as lecturing at Technical University of Kenya. Some of the units I take are wind energy technology and energy conservation and management.

Capstone Project - Research Proposal: Unpriced energy: leveraging on data to improve reliability.

Abstract: Challenges in the power sector in developing nations stem from various factors amongst them rigidity of the network, inadequacy of modern technological features for monitoring and reporting and most important limitation in finances. Studies done indicate a significant challenge in power reliability in Sub-Sahara Africa and South Asia. In one of the World Bank studies, Sub-Saharan Africa suffered the most interruptions averaging 741 hours over 241 interruptions in 2015. The significance of lost hours indicates an opportunity for improvement from an informed point (data driven) to achieve as high standards as those recorded in OECD.In Kenya, losses to the tune of US$ 17 million per year are realised due to distribution and transmission losses. Moreover, data analysed from World Bank show a trend where the losses have been consistently high compared to the world average as well as Sub-Saharan Africa average.The power challenges around interruptions and communication can be well addressed through a low cost solution that takes advantage of the current interest in social media platforms, accuracy in reporting, consumer engagement and more critically data for planning, execution, monitoring and evaluation purposes.


Name: Ayotomiwa Opeoluwa Alabi

Bio: Ayotomiwa is a professional passionate about the achievement of sustainable development goals in Africa. She is currently pursuing a doctorate degree in Nigeria’s foremost University, the University of Ibadan, her area of specialization is in energy and climate finance.

She is currently in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change internship programme in Bonn where she is being exposed to both theoretical and practical knowledge of developing countries’ vulnerability to climate change. Her career goal is to contribute to policy, frameworks and decision making processes that will encourage investments in electricity infrastructure and tackle climate change challenges in Africa.

Capstone Project – Research Proposal: Innovative Public-Private Partnership to support transmission network in Nigeria.

Abstract: Transmission infrastructure in Nigeria traditionally was vertically integrated, inefficiencies, frequent collapse in the entire value chain highlighted the need to construct new power project. Unbundling of the generation and distribution infrastructures have increased generation capacity. However, the lack of adequate financing has constrained steady growth in transmission infrastructure to deliver the power generated by these resources to congested load centers across the nation. Given the complexities in the electricity sector, it is therefore necessary to finance power projects with a more investment driven approach of project finance. The study carried out a thorough analysis of Public Private Partnership, focusing on transmission network system in Nigeria.


Name: Lebo Mahlare

Bio: Lebo is a dynamic, young professional from South African with a passion for infrastructure, energy and sustainable development.

She is musically trained, scientifically learned and culturally inquisitive, intrigued by issues pertaining modern energy infrastructure and its nexus with sustainable development. Broadly, her skills in the energy and power sector span across finance, economics and technology.

Her geographical scope of work has included Africa and more recently, the United States, working with New York University’s Finance Department at Stern School of Business.

She has received notable accolades including being named one of Top 200 Young South Africans, World Economic Forum Global Shaper and also represented South Africa at the World Bank/IMF African Youth Forum, proposing economic solutions to Africa’s development challenges with leaders in the international development community.

Capstone Project - Research Proposal: Creating local ecosystems for successful rural electrification through mini grids.

Abstract: As a mechanism of tackling energy poverty, the research proposal presents a set of key outcomes that the installation of mini-grid systems needs to achieve. The proposal suggests a user-oriented design thinking approach for rural electrification. It aims to use mini-grids that are scalable modularly based on load growth. The initial sizing of the mini-grid would be serve an anchor load and expand it in proportion with serving the local area. In this way, there are several customers, diversifying sources of revenues. Furthermore, developing community cooperatives who own equity in the project would also be part of the management of the project assisting with revenue collection, maintenance and operation all the while providing for the community’s electrification needs. 

Name: Sarisha Ojageer

Bio: I am an Electronic Engineer practicing as an Engineer in the Medium and Low Voltage Network Control Branch in the Electricity Unit of eThekwini Municipality in Durban, South Africa. My role as an engineer specifically within the Network Control field of the energy sector is to ensure customer service delivery and quality of supply through novel research and design as well as process optimisation and innovation. My experience at eThekwini Electricity has afforded me the opportunity to gain exposure to almost every facet of electricity distribution and retail. During this time, I discovered that my interest lay in the act of providing an essential service to all, and in sustainable development. One of the key objectives of my company is electrification and the Open Africa Power initiative has afforded me the opportunity to broaden my knowledge in the field of energy and its provision in the African context.

I come from a community- and family-centred home where ensuring the welfare of others has always been impressed upon me. As such, the ultimate objective of my career as an engineer and as a professional is to utilise my skillset to improve the lives of others. During my university and professional career, I have seen that the greatest success lies in the integration between technology and the customer’s needs and I want to aid in making this integration as seamless as possible to empower and uplift the surrounding community.

Capstone Project - Research Proposal: The feasibility of a new business model for eThekwini Electricity and other electricity distributors in Africa.

Abstract: This proposal recommends that eThekwini Electricity extend its mandate from transmission and distribution to include generation via solar photovoltaic technology. The project entails realising the generation potential of the area of supply through extensive, small-scale solar PV installations on residential rooftops. This research proposal explores the feasibility of a new business model, including generation capacity, for eThekwini Electricity and other electricity distributors in Africa. The expected outcome of the study would be the potential for employment creation, more affordable and accessible energy, and the ability to support the City’s contribution towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.


Name: Claude Ognandou Piessou

Bio: Claude Piessou is a renewable energy enthusiast and he believes that harnessing renewable energies in Africa is an important key that is required to unlock the continent's economic potential. He holds a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Cape Town and a master's degree in renewable energies from Stellenbosch University in South Africa.

Capstone Project: Strategies for enhancing rural electrification through agricultural cooperatives in Africa

Abstract: There are currently various rural electrification programmes across the African continent but most of the public ones are rarely successful (Ikejemba, et al., 2017) and some of the main reasons for failures are stakeholders’ engagement and process of project awards (subsidized). When you consider the agricultural sector across the continent, more than half of the population rely on agricultural incomes to sustain their economic needs. However, the agriculture sector is still in its traditional form in most African countries and some of the challenges to modernise it would be the lack of information and energy infrastructures. When you bring together the two situations (rural electrification and agriculture modernization in Africa), a common stakeholder are the people living in rural areas. It becomes therefore imperative to objectively involve the rural population when the goal is to enhance rural electrification and rural economic development in parallel.

The idea of promoting rural electrification through cooperatives is not a new concept, it has been successfully implemented in the United States in the form of rural electric cooperatives (Maddigan, et al., 1984) and in Europe. The objective of this research is to investigate its implementation on the African continent through the existing agricultural cooperatives and use the projects results to suggest a method of integrating rural electrification projects into agricultural development programmes across the continent.


Name: Engola Monica Katungi

Bio: Monica is a Ugandan qualified lawyer experienced in electricity regulation. She is currently resident in Kenya and an independent consultant in power projects (Electricity Regulation including permitting, licensing, power purchase agreements, compliance monitoring & enforcement, legal advisory).

She was previously employed as a Senior Legal Officer – Licensing at Electricity Regulatory Authority Uganda and also served as the secretary to the contracts committee of the Authority. Prior to this, she was employed at a telecommunications company as a legal officer commercial and later regulatory & competition affairs advisor.

Monica is currently pursuing a Masters in Public Policy and Management from Strathmore University Business School in Kenya and also holds a Bachelor of Laws Degree from Makerere University Kampala and a Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice (Bar Course) from the Law Development Centre Kampala.

She has also undertaken a number of professional courses in energy pricing, electricity regulation, regulatory course on comprehensive regulatory impact, power purchase agreements and negotiation, drafting & management of contracts and global leadership.

 Monica has also participated in capacity building programs within the power sector including the Open Africa Power program in Kenya and Italy in 2018. Open Africa Power program is supported by Enel Foundation and various partner universities in Italy and Africa.

Capstone Project - Research Proposal: The Feed-in-tariff policy for grid connected solar PV electricity generation in Kenya: challenges and prospects.

Abstract: This study seeks to provide an in-depth understanding of the FiT Policy for Solar Pv electricity generation in Kenya. The research objectives are; to analyse the drivers of FiT Policies, to determine the practicality of the FiT Policy (solar PV) of Kenya in promoting Solar PV, to explore measures to improve the FiT Policy design and implementation and to explore alternative measures to promote development of solar PV. The research questions are; what are the drivers for FiT Policies? To what extent has the FiT Policy promoted solar PV electricity generation in Kenya?, What lessons for FiT policy design and implementation may be learnt from Kenya’s experience? In addition, what alternative measures may be implemented to promote solar PV electricity generation? The dependent variable is generation of electricity from solar PV technology and the independent variable is the FiT Policy (design and implementation).

Name: Fred Tuhairwe

Bio: Mr. Fred Tuhairwe is the Project Associate, Solar Home Systems (SHS) Program at the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) where he is responsible for implementation of a project aimed at accelerating consumer and market access to SHS. He also serves as the Director of Regulatory Affairs at Bakulu Power, Fred’s renewable energy policy and regulation expertise plays an integral role in driving the company’s projects from the development stage through to implementation. This knowledge enables him to successfully navigate the legal and regulatory requirements for complex infrastructure projects and initiatives.

In his role as a Technical Officer for the Uganda National Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Alliance (UNREEEA), Fred supported the implementation of UNREEEA’s market development strategies under programs like the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ’s) Promotion of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Program (PREEEP), the Africa-EU Renewable Energy Cooperation Program (RECP) and Bfz.

Fred holds a M.Sc. in Renewable Energy and a B.Sc. in Physics and Math, both from Makerere University. He also served on the Electro Technology Standards Committee (TC6) of the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS), a statutory body responsible for standards development in conformity with ISO.

Capstone Project - Research Proposal: Market assessment for electrification of islands on Lake Victoria using solar powered mini grids.

Abstract: This research will benchmark on generation of market information that will guide developers to invest in solar mini-grids at the various islands on Lake Victoria since the solar is the most abundant resource in the Islands.

Different research methods will be used such as desk reviews, consultation with stakeholders (REA, ERA, and MEMD, Development partners, local leaders and mini-grid developers.), direct interviews and questionnaire interviews with end users.


Name: Chengetai Frank Chikara

Bio: Eng Chikara is a growing business leader with concise engineering and project management aptitude, which progressively develops through self-motivation, positive attitude and dedication founded on more than ten years of determined hands-on approach in the initiation, design and implementation of large infrastructural projects.

He has successfully handled projects worth more than US$300 million mostly under the FIDIC contracts. One such project is now Zimbabwe's largest inland dam, Tokwe-Mukorsi with 1.8 billion m3 capacity and 15MW hydro-electricity potential.

He holds a Master of Business Leadership (MBL) degree from the Graduate School of Business Leadership at UNISA where he researched on Public Private Partnerships (PPP) Implementation in developing countries and a BSc Honours degree in Engineering from the University of Zimbabwe.

He is a registered Professional Engineer with the Engineering Council of Zimbabwe (ECZ), a member of the Zimbabwe Institution of Engineers (ZIE), South Africa Institute of Civil Engineers (SAICE), Institute for Local Government Management of South Africa (ILGM) and Project Management Zimbabwe (PMZ).

Capstone Project – Research Proposal: Constraints in public private partnerships (ppps) implementation in the electrification of Africa.

Abstract: This research seeks to establish the main constraints in the implementation of Public Private Partnerships in the Electrification of Africa, which could be the panacea to avoid perpetuation of poverty presumably caused by dilapidated and insufficient economic enabling infrastructure.