Kenya Tea Factories Reduce Emissions via Increased Energy Efficiency and Use of Renewables
20 February 2013: Kenyan tea factories are reported to have decreased their carbon emissions and increased their energy efficiency while increasing farmer and factory workers' incomes and productivity, following the construction of a hydro-power plant in Kenya's Nyeri district. As a result of the “Gura project,” which is named after the local river, four Kenyan tea factories are expected to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions by 38,400 tons per year.
Through the support of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the Kenya Tea Development Agency (KTDA) is in the process of registering the Gura project with the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), through which the four participating tea factories are then expected to receive carbon credits. The UNDP notes that tea production traditionally uses high amounts of electricity to wither, cut and dry tea leaves, which results in high carbon emissions in the sector. In addition, Kenyan tea factories depend on the national grid, which frequently experiences power outages and poor power quality. The power generated through the Gura project's hydro-power plant addresses both problems by reducing emissions and eliminating dependence on the national grid. The project has also contributed to local empowerment and poverty reduction by increasing energy access and creating jobs. [UNDP Story] [CDM in Kenya]