Demand for Charcoal Briquettes is from Different Fields in Kenya
There are three main sources of energy in Kenya: wood fuel, petroleum and electricity accounting for 70 percent, 21 percent and 9 percent of total energy use respectively. But, the charcoal briquette made from the wastes such as sawdust, bagasse, coffee husks, wheat straws etc, has also become more and more important considering the pressure on the nation’s forestry resources and sustainable development.
Demand from urban and peri-urban households
Urban and peri-urban households account for a large section of Kenya’s demand for cooking and heating fuel and are very important target markets for charcoal briquette.
Most urban and peri-urban consumers desire a smokeless fuel, and charcoal briquettes can meet this need.
☆ Most urban and peri-urban consumers have the compatible cooking equipment for charcoal briquettes.
☆ The burn time of charcoal briquettes is higher than competing fuels,which can meet the need of cooking and heating.
☆ The urban and peri-urban people have the awareness of protect the forests and environment, which will make them turn to the charcoal briquette. Furthermore, they have the money to buy the more expensive fuel.
Demand from rural households
◆ Demand from rural households is relatively low because the firewood can be collected for free in the surrounding areas or bought cheaply in the nearest areas. But, there also have potential demand for charcoal briquette. Collecting and storing firewood is inconvenient and people are willing to pay for the charcoal briquette.
◆ Some of the consumers feel safer if they want to cook indoors at night. Because the charcoal briquette will produce less smoke.
◆ The advantages of charcoal are very attractive to the rural people, such as the long burning time, which will save their money to some extent.
Demand from restaurants, schools and others
Outside of household use, data suggests that the demand for fuel from institutions and industries across Kenya could be very large.
◎ For the restaurants, it is evident that they need a mix of fuels, not just charcoal briquettes, such as the kerosene or other quicker burning fuel. Under this condition, the suppliers should emphasize the unique performance of the charcoal briquettes when burning and set a competitive prices.
◎ For schools, since they mainly use firewood, their demand has some similarities to rural households. Schools typically pay for firewood and it is likely that the charcoal briquette will be less competitive.
◎ In other fields, biomass briquette is used by a number of industries in Kenya, especially where a longer or cleaner burning fuel is needed. For example, it can be used in the poultry cages overnight when temperatures are low and this will avoid the need to add extra fuel.
In different fields, the demand for charcoal briquettes may be different in Kenya. But we have reasons to believe that it must be used more widely in the future.