Energy and high levels of dependency on biomass in Eastern Africa present special challenges for human well-being and development.

Sustainable energy is about using energy wisely. This includes increasing use of energy produced by clean technologies or from renewable sources. Renewable energy sources (RES) include all sources of energy that are captured from natural processes, including water, solar, wind, geothermal and biomass. Some of these alternative energy sources are discussed more fully in Chapter 2: Atmosphere and Chapter 4: Freshwater. The scenario analysis reveals the different trends and opportunities associated with different policy choices.

Market Forces scenario

There is increased support to small and medium enterprises to help them get involved in the provision of rural energy and the maintenance of equipment.

In this scenario, the sub-region focuses on the modernization of the industrial sector and greater integration into the regional and global economy. This is complemented by international commitments to investing in the transfer and development of sustainable energy technologies in order to improve the quality of life in developing countries, as agreed to at WSSD in 2002. Achieving this requires the commercialization of renewable energy technologies through innovative financing mechanisms, targeted subsidies and financing to reach the grassroots. Privatization is a key aspect of this. There is increased support to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to help them become involved in the provision of rural energy and the maintenance of equipment. This improves levels of efficiency in the energy sector, and has the added benefit of freeing government funds, which can now be invested in the provision of social services.

Policy implementation and reform is driven by the desire for economic growth. Agricultural modernization policies result in increasing agricultural commercialization and export-orientated production. This results in increased demand for energy to support production. Rural energy services adequately support improved productivity and reduce post-harvest losses through better preservation. There is marked expansion in the processing and export of commodities such as coffee, fish and cut flowers. The requirements set out by EIAs and environmental audits are enforced but only so as to avoid costly mistakes, such as in the Hola irrigation scheme along Tana River in Kenya that collapsed in 1989 due to a change in the course of the river (Blank and others 2002).

Land reform seeks to empower women and strengthen women’s land rights, so as to make them more effective producers. Improved land rights will be helpful for women seeking small loans or other support, and this may help increase investments in agriculture and thus productivity. Increased support to agricultural extension services, including powered irrigation and water supply, results in improved food production and this has positive implications for household nutrition and food security at the national level.

Improved regional cooperation leads to an improvement in the overall security situation in the sub- region. This along with the economic boom results in increased tourism. It is hoped that this may help reduce the conflict between communities and wildlife, for example in Il Ngwesi and the Trans Mara area in Kenya where they have been experimenting with a range of community and private enterprises. Chapter 3: Land discusses these tensions.

Industry and service sectors grow and opportunities for employment are rife. In order to reduce costs and profit losses due to climate-induced power shortages, energy- intensive industries like sugar and cement manufacturing increasingly employ strategies for co-generation of electricity using by-products of the agro-processing industry like bagasse, ethanol and coffee husks. Increasingly, China is looked to for lessons in mitigating climate extremes and achieving remarkable economic growth, based on its successes over the last decade.