South Africa: Green electricity for green tea

Tea processing requires energy; ideally green energy. (Photo: dpa)
Tea processing requires energy; ideally green energy. (Photo: dpa)

The tea producer Rooibos Ltd. has expanded the capacity of the PV system on its warehouses in Clanwilliam, South Africa, to 1 MW. According to SolarWorld AG, almost 1,900 new modules will provide the company with energy self-sufficiency.

Rooibos Ltd. can now cover its electricity needs almost entirely using solar energy, according to SolarWorld. By using self-generated energy rather than external sources, more than 150,000 tonnes of CO2 can be saved per year. The company did not issue any information on the economic potential of using its own energy. The company is emphasising the small CO2 footprint as well as the green image of its products instead: "Rooibos Ltd. can now offer customers a product with a smaller environmental footprint. This is important because agricultural exporters are held accountable by their customers in the EU and the USA to record information on their greenhouse gas emissions and reduce them," said Kobus Engelbrecht, managing director of SolarWorld's partner African Technical Innovations, which was responsible for the planning and installation. According to SolarWorld, South African agricultural companies such as Ceres Fruit Growers, Stellenpak Fruit Packers, Bo-Radyn Boerdery (Pty) Ltd and Bosman Family Vineyards are relying more and more on solar self-sufficiency.

Ralf Ossenbrink