Tunisia Accelerates Renewable Energy Development

Country Overview

The African country, Republic of Tunisia is bordered by Algeria, Libya, and the Mediterranean Sea. The population of Tunisia is approximately 12.46 million people.

In 2022, Tunisia’s economy was ranked 88th in gross domestic product (GDP) in the world. The country’s economy is dependent on the export of insulated wire, crude oil, men’s non-knit suits, pure olive oil, and low-voltage protection equipment.

Environmental Policies

In 2016, Tunisia signed the Paris Climate Agreement, committing to an unconditional 41% reduction in carbon intensity by 2030, compared to 2010 levels.

Power Generation Capabilities

In 2021, 99.9% of the people in Tunisia had access to electricity.  In 2022, the state-owned and independent power companies used natural gas (95.6%) and renewable energy (4.4%) to generate electricity in the country. Wind and solar are the dominant types of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Tunisia.

Recent renewable energy projects in Tunisia include:

  • 300 MW Solar Projects – Norwegian renewable energy company, Scatec is continuing work on three solar projects with a total capacity of 300 MW in the towns of Tatouiane, Sidi Bouzeid, and Tozeur. The three solar projects are scheduled to be commissioned by year-end 2023.
  • 30 MW Onshore Wind Project – French renewable energy company, VSB Energies Nouvelles Sarl is continuing work on the El Batiha Wind project at a site approximately 40 miles northwest of Tunis. The project is forecast to be commissioned by year-end 2023.
  • 20 MW Solar Project – French renewable energy company, Qair is continuing work on a solar power plant in central-western Tunisia, approximately 135 miles southwest of Tunis. The project is forecast to be commissioned by year-end 2023.
  • 10 MW Solar Project – In December 2022, Scatec commissioned the Tataouine Solar PV Park 3 project at a site approximately 250 miles south of Tunis.
  • 200 kW Floating Solar Project – In June 2022, French renewable energy company, Qair commissioned Tunisia’s first floating solar photovoltaic power plant in Tunis.

Conclusions

Tunisia imports refined petroleum and natural gas for transportation, power generation, and heating. In 2021, the nation imported U.S. $1.94 Billion of refined petroleum and  U.S. $941 Million of natural gas.

On 24 February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, prompting the European Union, United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand to place economic sanctions on Russian imports and exports. As a result, the crude oil and natural gas prices increased by over 50% from May 2021 to May 2022.

Tunisia has significant undeveloped renewable energy resources, including solar, onshore wind, offshore wind, solar, and biomass. Costly refined petroleum and natural gas imports is causing Tunisia to accelerate the development of green, low-cost renewable energy.

Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”

www.jackkerfoot.com

 

Jack Kerfoot is a scientist, energy expert, and author of the book FUELING AMERICA, An Insider’s Journey and articles for The Hill, one of the largest independent political news sites in the United States. He has been interviewed on over 100 radio, podcast, and television stations from New York City to Los Angeles on a diverse range of energy issues.

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