Professional Fellow learns about biomass energy in Scotland

Nellie Oduor is a 2012 Commonwealth Professional Fellow from Kenya. Her Fellowship was hosted by the Institute for Energy Systems at the University of Edinburgh In September 2012.

Nellie Oduor

Nellie Oduor (right) at the Steven’s Croft power station

I work for the Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI) as a Deputy Centre Director of the Forest Products Research Centre. Other than the Centre’s administration duties, I carry out projects on biomass energy. I am grateful to the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission and my host organisation for the opportunity to acquire knowledge and skills in the latest innovations and energy systems that the UK and especially Scotland is involved in to reduce carbon emissions to mitigate climate change.

The Fellowship was a great highlight in my professional life in many ways. As a Fellow, I was exposed to various advances and interventions in the area of renewable energy and climate change. I was struck by the fact that the UK is using biomass to generate electricity. Visiting plants generating electricity from biomass (Steven’s Croft power station – one of the UK’s largest dedicated biomass stations), and seeing how biogas is generated from recycled biowastes to produce electricity (Scottish Water’s Deerdykes anaerobic digestion facility – the largest organic recycling facility in Scotland and the first site in the UK to combine anaerobic digestion and in-vessel composting) for me was just phenomenal.

The knowledge acquired will be used in the promotion of sustainable sources for the production of biomass energy and also the efficient use of this energy in Kenya. An opportunity is presenting itself in our natural forests where two plant species have been identified as being invasive in nature. These species can be promoted for use in gasification or even converted into pellets for use in boilers (in tea processing, for instance).

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