Tunisia to host international conference on Solar Plan

Organized by the Tunisian Ministry of Industry and Technology with the assistance of the Arab Institute of Business Managers and the National Consultative Council for Scientific Research and Technology, Tunisia will host “Tunisia Solar International Conference” from October 29 and 30, 2010 under the patronage of the President of the Republic .

Several Arab and European ministers in charge of Energy and the heads of major international funding agencies such as the World Bank, European Investment Bank, the French Agency for Development and the German cooperation agency, in addition to the specialized agencies in renewable energy, will take part in this event.

Several of the sector’s leaders from Egypt, Jordan, France, Italy, Japan, Germany, Spain and the UAE will participate in the conference.

One session will be devoted to the presentation of projects and initiatives in renewable energy so as to make known Tunisia’s achievements in the sector of exploitation of solar energy (solar water heaters, solar homes program, which have started since last April ..), besides mega-projects using wind energy and co-generation.

The conference will focus on the avant-garde project of the Tunisian Electricity production from Concentrating Solar Power plant of El Borma, directed by SITEP.

Tunisia has set under the 2009-2014 Presidential Program, ambitious goals in the renewable energies sector including the quintuple of the share of renewable energy in total consumption.

To achieve these objectives, the Tunisian Solar Plan (TSP) was developed; it consists of 40 concrete projects to be completed during 2010-2016.

It is part of similar international projects, such as “DESERTEC”, “Mediterranean Solar Plan” and “Sahara Solar Breeder” projects. The TSP aims at promoting the use of renewable energy for electricity generation, through the consolidation of production capacity which will increase from 144 megawatts in 2009 to 550 megawatts in 2014.

The medium-term target path in the sector of renewable energy is to reach 1,000 megawatts by 2016, including 75% from wind power and solar energy to reach 4,700 megawatts by 2030. The Solar Plan also seeks to rationalize energy consumption by 24% of the saving of primary energy in 2016, about 3 million tons of oil equivalent (toe), against an economy of 1.1 million toe in 2009.

Several parties involved in implementing the plan which will involve investments of around 4, 1 billion dinars. The Tunisian solar plan reflects Tunisia’s willingness to become an international platform for production and export of renewable energy, and as a hub of research and innovation.