I used to work for this United Nations project to improve the energy efficiency of the tea industry in Kenya. By introducing Japanese technology, we were able to halve the energy used to dry tea. This video is an overview of the project and the first minute or so explains the problems faced by the tea industry.
At about the 5 minute 35-second mark, you can see how a new technology is being used.
It seems that the tea industry in Indonesia has similar problems, so I did some research.
In Indonesia, tea production is a major agro-industry, consuming 72.6 GWh of electricity annually for the entire industry. Indonesia's international competitiveness in the tea industry is gradually declining due to high production costs, including energy costs, energy-inefficient production facilities, and challenges in value addition; from 2013 to 2016, Indonesia's tea exports have been declining by 10% per year ( Nugrahaningrum, et.al, 2000). The wilting process in the tea production factories in Indonesia has a fixed motor speed and the air volume is controlled by dampers, which results in wasted electricity.
The wilting process, which reduces the moisture content in the tea leaves, takes about 12 to 18 hours, and this power consumption accounts for about 60% of the total power consumption of the factory. A system similar to the one used in the Kenyan project would allow airflow to be regulated without the need for dampers, eliminating airflow that would otherwise be wasted. Estimates are that the whole factory will save about 20% of energy.
As for the future outlook, the 4°C scenario of climate change (RCP8.5) predicts an increase in precipitation from 20-40mm in the three months of the rainy season in Java. The higher humidity due to climate change will further increase the energy cost as the wilting and drying process requires more energy. Therefore, solving the problem of energy use in the current energy-inefficient production facilities is an essential measure for the tea industry in Indonesia, not only for the current situation but also for future environmental changes.