Conserve the energy,
Save our climate !

Saving energy in Tea sector

After China, India is the second largest producer and exporter of Tea in the world. About 45 percent of India's tea export is singly contributed by South India which houses 265 tea factories.

Tea processing utilizes extensive energy. It is also cost effective which amounts to 30% of the total processing costs. Manogaran's tea cooperative in the Nilgiri hills faced high losses due to production cost and was dragged to the verge of closure. An energy audit highlighted opportunities where greater energy efficiency could reduce production cost.

As a part of UNDP's (United Nation Development Program) project, energy saving measures was introduced, this enabled the cooperative to turn business around. UNDP in partnership with the Tea Board of the Ministry of Commerce, Government of India and the Global Environment Facility initiated a four year project in 2008, aimed at introducing energy conservation measures in small tea processing factories that could help units save between 15 to 30 percent in energy costs. A range of energy conservation measures including efficient motors, wood chippers, modified blades helped improve the drying process and save energy significantly. Briquettes made out of agricultural residue served as an alternate to firewood, contributing to further reduction in production costs. Replacing firewood with briquettes and other energy-saving measures enabled Manogaran's cooperative to save its energy bill by 30 percent in a short span of two years. The use of clean energy alternatives has reduced carbon dioxide emissions by around 0.26 million tons over five years, generating 10 percent less carbon dioxide than before. It is estimated that if the energy conservation measures are adopted by all the 265 tea processing units in south India, there will be an annual savings of 24.6 million kilowatt hours of electricity and 62 million kg of wood. This translates to a reduction of 130,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually. With the success of the project in south India, the renewed focus is on the north-east of the country, which is home to at least 1,000 tea factories.


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