Energy technologies in the Kenyan tea value chain


Within the framework of the FAO INVESTA project, a cost-benefit analysis (CBA) is being performed for selected clean energy interventions in the Kenyan tea processing sector in collaboration with GIZ. In particular, variable speed drives and small hydro plants for electricity technologies are being assessed.

The INVESTA team already applied the CBA to specific energy interventions in the milk, vegetable and rice value chains in four pilot countries: Kenya, the Philippines, Tanzania and Tunisia in 2016-2017.

Kenya, with its flourishing tea industry, is the largest tea producer in Africa and one of the global leaders next to China, India and Sri Lanka. However, tea processing requires intensive energy input and energy is often not used efficiently. Thus, the energy and cost saving potential in the Kenyan tea sector is significant.

FAO and GIZ are applying the CBA to selected energy interventions in the tea processing, building upon the GIZ-ETP “Energy efficiency in Kenyan Tea Sector” project to understand the real net benefits of the interventions.

During a visit to Kenya, the INVESTA team met the Kenya Tea Development Agency Holdings Limited Ltd (KTDA) and visited the Sotik Tea Company and the Imenti Tea Factory. They collected information and data which will be used to perform the CBA, such as information on the energy savings, initial, maintenance and operating costs of the technologies, and their environmental and social impacts. The analysis results will be condensed in a short report, to be presented to KTDA, highlighting hidden costs and co-benefits of the energy interventions.