Tunisia to invite bids for 2,000 MW of renewable energy

Highlights :

  • The announcement for upcoming international tender is made by Energy Minister of Tunisia, Naila Nouira.
  • Tunisia is aiming at cutting down natural gas imports which may well cross $2.6 billion this year.

In order to reduce its dependence on fossil fuel imports, reduce carbon footprints and heighten the use of clean energy, the Energy Minister of Tunisia, Naila Nouira has announced that Tunisia is planning to launch international tenders seeking bids to build 2,000 megawatts (MW) of renewable electric power capacity. The minister held that the efforts are aimed at cutting down natural gas imports of Tunisia.

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The energy import bills of Tunisia are rising each year. The country is in the middle of financial and political instability due to unrest, violence and external factors.

This year, the natural gas purchase of Tunisia from Algerian player Sonatrach is expected to reach $1.5 billion in 2022. The total import bill of Tunisia may well cross $2.6 billion, informed the Energy Minister recently. Last year, Tunisia’s total energy import bill was $1.5 billion.

The Pursuit of Tunisia for Green Energy

The country is formulating policies to attract domestic and foreign investments in the renewable energy sector. According to Prime Minister Najla Bouden, Tunisia aims to produce 30% of electricity from renewables by the end of this decade. The government is also looking to reduce its carbon intensity by 41% by 2030.

According to the International Trade Administration (ITA), the installed renewable energy capacity in Tunisia was about 400MW at the end of 2020. Of the total RE capacity in Tunisia, 244 MW was wind power, 89 MW solar power (79 MW by private entities and 10 MW by STEG), and 62 MW of hydroelectric power. The renewables segment would represent a combined 6% of national energy production capacity.

In March, Tunisia had granted licenses to three international firms to generate 500 MW of electricity from renewable sources. The largest of all is coming up in Tataouine that will have a capacity of 200 MW. The solar project in Kairouan will be of 100 MW and Gafsa will also be of 100 MW. Solar projects in Tozeur and Sidi Bouzid will be of 50 MW each.

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