A final dissemination event of the ESCoBox project was held at the Central Catering Unit, University of University (UoN) on Wednesday, January 11, 2017. The project whose aim was to come up with a simple system that can alleviate poverty through enabling access to affordable and reliable energy sources is a joint venture between UoN, De Montfort University in Leicester, Newcastle University and industry players.
The ESCoBox is a system that comprises of two other subsystems which are the Decision Support Tool and Demand Control System. The system has been developed to offer a lasting panacea through the use of smart mini grids by people in both developing and developed nations and who don’t have electricity in their homes because of their inability to access the national grid due to geographical and cost factors. The lead Investigator of the project was Dr. Rupert Gammon from De Montfort University, Leicester and assisted by other scholars from the same university, Newcastle University and Prof. Jackson Mbuthia from UoN.
While giving his remarks, Eng. Kayanga, a representative from the Ministry of Energy & Petroleum informed attendees at the forum that majority of Kenyans resided far away from the national grid and in order to reach a majority by the year 2022, something different needed to be done and noted that he was very optimistic that the project would offer that opportunity. He said his ministry was ready to partner in order to connect Kenyans using the system.
The Principal, College of Architecture and Engineering, Prof. Peter Ngau, said that the project was viable as it sought to solve a common electricity problem across the globe and thanked the researchers for involving young student researchers in their project. He also noted that Kenya had a grid access limitation problem due to the fact that many Kenyans are not connected to electricity and saw a solution through the the use of the smart mini grids.
Some of the project partners included; De Montfort University, Leicester, Newcastle University, University of University, Institute of Development Studies, STEAMACO, Practical Action, BBOXX and Ashden. The Project sponsor was Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).