Energy for heating (and cooling) represents around 70% of total energy consumption in Tunisia, more than ¾ of the energy consumption of the industrial sector and up to 40% of the energy consumption of buildings.  The use of Solar Thermal Energy therefore has significant potential in Tunisia’s various economic sectors. 

Tunisia is blessed with an abundance of solar radiation, thanks to its geographical position, with a mean of around 2,000 kWh m‑2 yr‑1.  In the country as a whole, areas with the potential for installing Solar Thermal Energy total more than 1,000,000 m2, of which the following have already been identified:  360,000 m2 in the industrial sector, 250,000 m2 in collective habitations (houses, flats, etc.), 170,000 m2 in hotels and 6,000 m2 above covered municipal swimming-pools.

Advantages and Incentives

Collective Solar Thermal Plants are subject to different grants, loans and investment assistance.  These are allocated by the Fund for Energy Transition (Fonds de Transition Energétique – FTE), which represents the principal mechanism for implementing these initiatives.  In addition to the FTE however, there also exists complementary assistance in the form of concessionary loans (subsidized credit lines  available to developers) and grants from international co-operative funds.

Through the FTE, businesses that install Collective Solar plants may benefit from a grant of 70% of the costs of Consultants’ and Technical Advisors’ services up to a ceiling of 70,000DT;  such businesses may also receive grants of 30% of the cost of investment in materials, up to a ceiling of 250DT m-2 of solar panels as indicated in the table below:

 

As shown in the graph below, the PROSOL Collective program allowed the installation of 35,000 m² of solar collectors between 2009 and 2019, with an average of 3,000 m² of solar collectors installed each year. thus allowing a significant change of scale in terms of achievements by going from an installed collection area not exceeding 100 m² annually until 2008 to an average of since 2009.

 

 

  Surface annuelle installée dans le cadre du PROSOL COLLECTIF, source ANME

  • The housing stock has grown from about 2.9 million houses in 2009 to about 3.3 million in 2015, an increase of 80,000 houses per year. This park is expected to grow faster in the next years because of the various real estate projects planned over the medium term.
  • 30%
    The scarcity of national natural resources along with the increase of energy demand leads Tunisia to initiate an energy transition process focusing on the increase of the share of renewable energies in the production of electricity in order to reach 12% by 2020 and 30% by 2030, in comparison to the current 3%. Indeed, the objective is to reach a renewable electric power of 3815 MW by 2030.
  • 41%
    International negotiations on climate change resulted in a historic agreement in December 2015 in Paris called the "Paris Agreement"
  • 30%
    Penetration rate of renewable energies in electricity production in 2030