Tunisia Rushes to Unlock Gates for Massive Renewable Energy Boom

The Tunisian government has established a roadmap for finalizing agreements with private companies to develop large-scale renewable energy projects nationwide, an important step in the country’s pursuit of an energy transition. The target dates were determined during a ministerial working session chaired by Prime Minister Ahmed Hachani at the Government Palace on Tuesday.

According to the outcomes of the meeting, contracts for 300 megawatt (MW) solar power plants in the governorates of Gafsa and Tataouine are slated to be signed in early May 2024. Meanwhile, agreements for 100 MW projects in Sidi Bouzid and Tozeur will be inked before the end of June 2024.

The session was convened by the High Committee for Private Electricity Generation and confirmed the completion of the project allocation program for the initial 500 MW batch of renewable energy initiatives approved by the government.

In attendance were key Tunisian ministers including Finance Minister Sihem Boughdiri Nemsia, Industry Minister Fatma Thabet Chiboub, Trade Minister Kalthoum Ben Rejab Gazzeh, State Property Minister Mohamed Rekik, Environment Minister Leila Cheikhaoui, as well as the Governor of the Central Bank of Tunisia, Fethi Zouhair Nouri.

Prime Minister Hachani underscored the urgency of expediting administrative procedures for all planned electricity projects in order to achieve Tunisia’s desired energy transition. He emphasized the positive economic impacts such a strategic shift towards renewables could yield for the nation.

A deadline of May 30, 2024 has been set for companies to submit bids for an additional tranche of solar projects with a combined 500 MW production capacity across various regions. This is part of a larger program that aims to bring 1,700 MW of renewable energy online.

Aligned with Tunisia’s national strategy for environmental and energy transition, Hachani recommended drafting a decree that would mandate the incorporation of renewable energy sources across public institutions and facilities.

The North African country has been actively pursuing public-private partnerships to develop its abundant renewable resources, particularly solar and wind, as a pathway to greater energy independence and climate action. Tuesday’s meeting marked a key step in executing this ambitious agenda.