An overhaul of the legislative framework governing the production of electricity from renewable energy is underway, with the aim above all, of removing permits required for self-generation projects for private developers (industrial and hotel), director of Energy Transition at the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy, Abdelhamid Khalfallah told TAP.
Khalfallah said this overhaul, undertaken in cooperation with the parties concerned, aims to improve the regulatory framework in general, to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy in Tunisia, encourage industry to invest more and ease the procedures for carrying out RE projects.
Steps are also underway to finalize the Code of Renewable Energy, which will combine “in a single document, the scattered laws governing the sector since 2015, but revised and improved.» This code, which will be ready in 2022, will help the sector to develop, added the Director of Energy Transition.
The Director of Solar Energy within the ANME, Nefâa Baccari stressed for his part, that “solar PV is very profitable for self-generation.
The National Agency for Energy Management (ANME), through “Sunref” (green finance program of the AFD) and the Energy Transition Fund (FTE), is willing to finance this type of project through grants and credits and to fund also, studies.
“It is a very large niche, either for self-generation at medium voltage, with an estimated capacity, so far, of 50 MW, or in the low voltage category, which has reached a capacity of 150 MW, mainly in the residential sector, “said Baccari, noting that the agency will continue in this direction to achieve the goal of 30% of RE in the electricity mix by 2030.
Indeed, Tunisia has opted, since 2015, for a strengthened legal and regulatory mechanism to make the most of renewable energy, especially solar energy. The law on the production of electricity from renewable energy was adopted in May 2015 (Law No. 2015-12 of 11 May 2015).
In August 2016, the State issued Decree 1123, which defines the criteria and measures necessary for the realization of projects for the production and sale of electricity from renewable energy.
Three years later, a new Law No. 2019-47 of May 29, 2019 was approved in order to accelerate the pace of realisation of electricity generation projects from renewable energy and to remove the obstacles faced by both local and foreign investors.
The production of electricity from renewable energy is seen as an essential step in the energy transition in Tunisia and also a factor of economic recovery.
The system of self-production, for example, could serve the specific needs of industry, the tertiary, residential or agriculture sectors and therefore reduce the burden of importing energy that weighs heavily on the state budget.
“It appears to be the most relevant tool from the point of view of the energy balance of Tunisia,” according to an “analysis of the regulatory framework of access to the network of electricity producers from renewable energy in Tunisia,” conducted by the German cooperation agency “GIZ”.
“Its extensive use would allow to remedy the power cuts in case of strong demand and would obviate the need for the state to compensate big consumers who can be the object of a cut… This mechanism must be the object of an economic simulation to test its adaptability in the state, according to this study.