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Tunisia: Tunisia Renewable energy




Tunisia Renewable energy


Surprisingly, RE in Tunisia is not based primarily on solar power, even though this would seem to be the most abundant national renewable resource. Although Tunisia has a very high solar potential with more than 3,200 hours of sunshine per year, and an average daily insolation of 5.0-5.5 kWh/m2, production of solar energy is still not considered cost competitive enough, and is largely limited to use in domestic water heating systems and in certain community projects. It is only now that the private sector is beginning to explore the commercial applications of solar power.


The development of wind energy, which does not immediately spring to mind when considering possible renewable sources in the sun-baked North African country, is expanding fast. Studies indicate that Tunisia could eventually generate 1,000 MW from wind energy, and when newly launched projects are completed, this source will account for 4% of national energy production, compared with 3% in Europe and only 1% in North America. Several sites have been identified as having good potential for the use of wind power, with average wind speeds of 5.9-7.5 m/s at 80m.


Traditional wood and charcoal fuels are still utilised in some rural households. Projects are in place to disseminate more efficient biomass stoves. The potential for biomass gasification has been identified -a pilot project involving gasification through poultry waste has been launched. In addition, CDM projects have been established in conjunction with German Technical Assistance (GTZ) utilising biomass energy.


Tunisia has a substantial geothermal potential, primarily thermal waters. Utilisation currently extends to the heating of greenhouses, spas, resorts and other heat-dependent activities as well as being used in ice production.


By 2008, 62 MW of hydro-electric power generation capacity was installed in the country. Tunisia's gross theoretical hydropower potential was estimated at 1000 GWh/year in the mid-1990s, with a technically feasible potential of 250 GWh/year. The construction of 9 further small- and mini-hydro plants, with sizes ranging from 250 kW to 3 MW, is currently ongoing.

Energy efficiency

Tunisia established in 2000 a program for the control of energy. The Tunisian National Agency for Energy Efficiency (ANME) developed a strategic plan, which covers several fields in particular:

  • Development and execution of the national programs of energy efficiency;
  • Development of the legal and lawful framework relating to the energy efficiency;
  • The granting of the tax and financial incentives for EE;
  • The set-up of training, education courses, and information dissemination;
  • The support of the research and the development and realisation of demonstration projects;

The encouragement of the deprived investment in this sector.

The results obtained by Tunisia at the energy intensity level are encouraging. This helps to rank it among the most efficient developing countries in terms of EE. Thus, the radiant intensity (0.42 KEP/1000$ PIB) has fallen since 1985, the creation date of the National Agency for EE, to a level of 0.360 KEP/1000$ PIB in 2004 (against 0,583 in Algeria and 0,146 in Italy).

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