Tunisia has had a strategy for developing wind power since the 1990s. During the initial phase, various low-power wind turbines were installed to meet the energy needs of remote rural households. In 2000, the first 10 Megawatt (MW) wind power plant with high power wind turbines was installed.

The positive results of this project prompted the Tunisian Company of Electricity and Gas (Société Tunisienne d’Electricité et de Gaz – STEG) to develop wind farms. The first wind power station was installed in Sidi Daoud in 2009, with a total capacity of 55MW generating electricity of 150 Gigawatt-hours (GWh) per year. Following this, a second wind power project was installed at two sites located at Métline and Kchabta in the region of Bizerte, in the north of Tunisia. With respective power outputs of approximately 97MW and 93 MW, these consist of 143 wind turbines each producing 1320 kW.

Altogether, the total energy produced by wind power plants in Tunisia is around 750 GWh per year, thereby creating an annual saving of 153,000 tonnes of fuel.

These contribute towards increasing the share of renewable energies in power generation  from around 3% (excluding hydropower) in 2013 to 30% in 2030. The Tunisian Solar Plan provides as well for achieving an installed capacity for renewable energies in 2030 of around 3,725 MW, of which 1,700 MW (45% of the total) would be from wind power.

The environmental benefits of using wind power on a large scale in Tunisia are manifold. Nationally, it contributes to diversifying the energy mix and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore, it promotes the country’s economic growth by opening the doors to investment in this sector. Internationally, it allows Tunisia to participate in the framework of programmes established by international agreements on climate change. This is with the aim of achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 13 (SDG 13) relating to the fight against climate change.

ANME’s Role in the Development of the Wind Power Sector

Since its creation in 1985, the National Agency for Energy Conservation (l’Agence Nationale pour la Maîtrise de l’Energie – ANME), has facilitated the organization of energy management programmes and the use of renewable energies.

ANME has contributed to the development of wind power through:

  • Organizing wind energy development programmes;
  • Designing and setting up institutional, regulatory and financial structures for wind power development;
  • Running demonstration projects;
  • Local capacity building in the field;

Since the 1980s, small wind power turbines have been tested at several sites and with various applications:

  • In 1982, wind turbines of 1.5 kW and 4 kW were installed at the National Institute of Scientific and Technical Research (Institut National de Recherche Scientifique et Technique) in Hammam-Lif  in the governorate of Ben Arous. These are used for desalination by electro dialysis and for pumping water;
  • A couple of houses in Maâmoura (governorate of Nabeul) each had small wind generators of 0.6 kW capacity installed;
  • In 1988, two wind turbines with a power output of 20 kW were installed in Jabouza (governorate of Nabeul), by ANME, STEG and SEN;
  • In 1984, a wind power station was installed at El Haouaria (governorate of Nabeul). This has two wind turbines with capacities of 10 kW and 12.5 kW, connected to the national medium-voltage electricity grid;
  • In 2004, a 20 kW wind turbine was installed at Ksar Ghilane (Tataouine governorate);
  • Experimentation with small wind power turbines: 12 wind turbines and hybrid systems were installed in 2006;
  • Lighting of Boulevard Yasser Arafat in Tunis by a hybrid Wind-Photovoltaic system with sun-tracking and the use of LED lamps: This project includes a hybrid wind system:
    • Solar path tracking photovoltaic with a total power output of 51 kW supplying more than 140 lamps with low-voltage current in accordance with recognized safety standards. It aims to provide public lighting for a 1600 m section in front of Tunis-Carthage Airport.

 

  • 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