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The Tunisian government has set its target to increase the share of solar energy in the country’s electricity mix. The country will develop a solar capacity of 3.8 GW by the year 2030, relying on structural reforms.
The Tunisian Minister of Industry, Energy, and Mines, Neila Nouira Gongi announced to establish a national strategy for solar energy at a recently held workshop on the development of renewable energy. The government has made its objective clear in accelerating the diversification of its electricity mix, by developing the 3.8 GW capacity of solar energy for its national grid by 2030.
Tunisia’s total power generation capacity is mainly composed of thermal power plants and natural gas. According to the National Agency for Energy Management (ANME), Tunisia’s electricity produced from renewable sources has not exceeded 3% of its total electricity production.
Due to the decline in natural gas production, which dropped nearly 36% during the period 2010-2018, according to the government, the high dependence on fuels now poses a serious threat to the security of power generation. Since 2018, the situation has not changed much, except for the commissioning of a 10 MWp capacity of the solar PV plant in Tozeur.
The strategy to develop 3.8 GW of solar energy will increase the share of renewable electricity in the Tunisian electricity mix by 30%, according to Minister Gongi. The execution of this national strategy on solar energy will be conditioned by the achievement of structural reforms. The Minister also announced to set up a regulatory body for the electricity sector and to publish a renewable energy-based magazine.
This strategy of the government is in line with the objectives of the Tunisian Solar Plan (TSP). The plan was launched after the signing of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. Under TSP, the government has already launched tenders for a total capacity of 1.1 GW, including 500 MW under concession contracts, whereas 400 MW under the authorization system, and the remaining 200 MW under the self-generation system.