World Environment Day 2014: Saving Energy in the Tea Sector

Jun 05, 2014, 15:03 PM IST
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. Pic Courtesy- UNDP India
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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. Pic Courtesy- UNDP India

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. Pic Courtesy- UNDP India
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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. Pic Courtesy- UNDP India

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. Pic Courtesy- UNDP India
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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. Pic Courtesy- UNDP India

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. Pic Courtesy- UNDP India
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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. Pic Courtesy- UNDP India

Briquettes made out of agricultural residue served as an alternate to firewood, contributing to further reduction in production costs. Pic Courtesy- UNDP India
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Briquettes made out of agricultural residue served as an alternate to firewood, contributing to further reduction in production costs. Pic Courtesy- UNDP India

A range of energy conservation measures including efficient motors, wood chippers, modified blades helped improve the drying process and save energy significantly. Pic Courtesy- UNDP India
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A range of energy conservation measures including efficient motors, wood chippers, modified blades helped improve the drying process and save energy significantly. Pic Courtesy- UNDP India

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. Pic Courtesy- UNDP India
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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. Pic Courtesy- UNDP India

Amidst rising losses due to high production costs, Manogaran’s tea cooperative in the Nilgiri Hills in south India faced the threat of closure. An energy audit highlighted opportunities where greater energy efficiency could reduce production costs. Energy saving measures, introduced as part of a UNDP project, enabled the cooperative to turn business around. Pic Courtesy- UNDP India
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Amidst rising losses due to high production costs, Manogaran’s tea cooperative in the Nilgiri Hills in south India faced the threat of closure. An energy audit highlighted opportunities where greater energy efficiency could reduce production costs. Energy saving measures, introduced as part of a UNDP project, enabled the cooperative to turn business around. Pic Courtesy- UNDP India

Tea processing is highly energy-intensive. Energy costs can account for as much as 30 percent of the total processing costs. Pic Courtesy- UNDP India
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Tea processing is highly energy-intensive. Energy costs can account for as much as 30 percent of the total processing costs. Pic Courtesy- UNDP India

India is the second largest producer and exporter of tea after China. South India, which houses 265 tea factories, contributes over 45 percent to India’s tea exports. Pic Courtesy- UNDP India
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India is the second largest producer and exporter of tea after China. South India, which houses 265 tea factories, contributes over 45 percent to India’s tea exports. Pic Courtesy- UNDP India