Tunisia plans to tender for 1.4GW of wind and photovoltaic projects
- Eight wind power stations will be built with a total installed capacity of 600MW
- The Tunisian government plans to build eight solar photovoltaic power plant projects with a total installed capacity of 800MW
Under the background of energy transition, the renewable energy industry has been booming in recent years. Tunisia's Ministry of Energy, Mines and Renewable Energy has announced the 2023-2025 Renewable Energy tender program, which is expected to require a total investment of $1.6 billion, with a cumulative installed capacity of about 1.4GW.
According to the announcement, the Tunisian government plans to build eight solar photovoltaic power plant projects between 2023 and 2025, with a total installed capacity of 800MW. The installed capacity of a single project will not exceed 100MW, subject to site recommendations by investors.
In the meantime, two photovoltaic power plants in Haysha and Khabna are planned for 2023.
The light resource is expected to reach 3.8GW in 2030. Tunisia has abundant light resources, and the annual sunshine amount is about 1,800kWh/㎡, increasing from north to south. The total radiation in the southern region can reach 7884MJ/㎡.
Wind power generation
According to the announcement, the Tunisian government plans to build eight wind power stations between 2023 and 2025, with a total installed capacity of 600MW, with a single project capacity of up to 75MW, subject to site recommendations by investors.
Tunisia is expected to have a wind resource potential of 8GW and an area of 1,600 square kilometers that can be developed. The wind resources are mainly concentrated in the southwest and northeast, and the annual average wind speed is higher than 6m/s.
Although Tunisia regards "achieving 3.8GW of photovoltaic installations by 2030" as a national strategy, there is still a relatively clear gap.
According to statistics, Tunisia has about 472MW installed renewable energy capacity as of March 2022, of which 244 MW is wind power, 166 MW solar power and 62 MW hydroelectric power, accounting for 8% of the national energy production capacity.
Focus on risk
In the stage of investment and development, IPP projects in Tunisia usually adopt a Take or Pay fixed electricity price model, and the only power buyer is state-owned enterprise STEG. Affected by the epidemic and the slowing down of economic growth, STEG had financial difficulties. Therefore, It is suggested that the renewable energy developers should pay more attention to the cost recovery risk, PPA contract risk and exchange risk.
During the construction phase of a new energy project, as the Tunisian Investment Law stipulates that enterprises can employ up to 30% foreign employees in the first three years of operation, they can usually meet the needs of the construction cycle of new energy projects. However, due to the high unemployment rate in the country and frequent union organizing activities, there is still a need to pay attention to the risks of labor, strikes and marches.
Overall, Tunisia's electricity structure is too dependent on natural gas, it has both the objective need and the will to develop renewable energy, and it has the potential for cross-border electricity transmission due to its geographical location, which is about 150km from Europe at its closest point. However, the market size is limited, the progress of renewable energy projects is slow in the actual process of promotion, and the outdated transmission and distribution grid may have some impact on the development of renewable energy in the country. Editor/Xu Shengpeng
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