NDF - Financing for climate change and development projects

NCF 7: Greening Tea Factories in Kenya: Using Absolicon Solar Collectors in Tea Process

Photo: Joakim Byström, Absolicon Solar Collector AB
Photo: Joakim Byström, Absolicon Solar Collector AB
Photo: Joakim Byström, Absolicon Solar Collector AB
Photo: Joakim Byström, Absolicon Solar Collector AB
1.02.2019
The project objective is to reduce virtual water and GHG emissions within the tea industry in Kenya through a combination of using renewable energy sources and energy saving measures, including replacing wood fuel in tea processing with solar concentrators.

Kenya
Greening Tea Factories in Kenya: Using Absolicon Solar Collectors in Tea Process
Ref: NDF C96

Nordic Partner: Absolicon Solar Collector AB
Local Partner: World Wide Fund for Nature Kenya (WWF-Kenya)
Other Local Partner: Tealand Engineering and Construction Limited
Total Project Cost: EUR 625,000
NCF Financing: EUR  500,000  
Agreement Signed: 22 December 2018
Project type: Mitigation
Duration: 30 months

Description
The main objective of the project is to reduce the use of Eucalyptus in tea production hence reduce on virtual water and greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions within the Tea Industry in Kenya by introducing a combination of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency/saving measures. Since 90% of all energy consumption in a tea factory comes from heat and steam supplied from eucalyptus (electricity accounts for only 10%), the focus of this project is on heat production and consumption.
 

In Kenya, most of the industries heavily rely on fossil fuels and biomass for heating, which is a major source of GHG emissions. As the industry sector consumes a significant share of final energy, effective utilization of solar thermal energy for industrial process heat application would contribute to a reduction of fossil fuel and unsustainable biomass energy consumption. In tropical climates like Kenya’s, all-year-round availability of solar energy provides a huge potential for industrial heating application.

From investigations, solar Parabolic Trough Collectors (PTC) or "solar concentrators" that produce steam up to 160°C are the best way to substitute the fuel wood. The PTC technology is new in East Africa and it is necessary to pilot the technique among a number of leaders in the industry. To reach our goal of 75 % reduction in eucalyptus consumption, it is necessary to combine use of PTC with other different measures to increase energy efficiency. Use of solar thermal energy can be the solution, paving the way for a truly sustainable industrial revolution in Kenya.

Expected key results
The project's long-term ambition is to establish energy plans for tea factories, including energy audits, proposals for energy-efficient investments, pursue favorable financing, increase profitability, improve livelihoods of the small-holder farmers and prepare for a WWF green factory certification program.