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Tunis: FNME, cornerstone of energy management

According to the Director of Studies and Planning, Najib Osman, the National Agency for Energy Management (ANME) is currently focusing on the restructuring of the National Fund for Energy Management, considered as energy management policy lever n Tunisia. The aim is to boost investment in projects improving energy efficiency and developing renewable energy.

Interview:

What is the purpose of the National Fund for Energy Management (The FNME)?

FNME was created by the Law No. 2005-106 of December 19, 2005. This is a special treasury fund designed to promote the policy of energy conservation, through financial support, in the form of subsidies to traders willing to make investment in energy efficiency. This support focuses on three areas:

– Energy Efficiency

– Renewable energy

– Energy substitution.

What are the regulatory resources of FNME?

Sources of income for premiums / grants were defined by Decree No. 2005-2234 of August 22, 2005. The fund is financed from the following sources:

• Taxes on the first registration of cars, gradual according to the power of the engine.

• Taxes on air conditioners imported or locally produced, with 10 TD for every 1,000 thermal units.

The founding text of the FNME (Act No. 2005-106) states that it can also be supplied from:

– Fund’s interventions resources Fund, which means that the FNME could possibly be “paid” for the services it provides;

– Donations and grants from individuals and legal persons to the fund, which allows donor grants (national or international) to contribute to the FNME resources;

– Any other resources that can be used to benefit the fund under the legislation in force.

These various resources could include taxes introduced on incandescent lamps.

Intrinsically FNME offers incentives to households and economic operators to make better use of energy resources. The founding text of FNME is quite open and leaves room for important flexibility. It can therefore, through marginal improvements, play an important role in the implementation and acceleration of the energy management program, provided of course that the eligible actions are formally designated in decrees on the use of FNME.

What is its record since its inception?

Formally established on January 1, 2006, the FNME has collected from its inception until the end of 2011, almost 140 MTD, i.e. an average of about 23 MTD annually. Starting at only 10.4 MTD in 2006, resources of FNME have steadily increased throughout its six years of existence, recording a threefold increase compared to its level of the first year, i.e. 30 MTD in 2011.

Taxes on the first registration of motor vehicles are the primary resource of FNME, totaling 95 MTD in six years, almost 70% of the financial revenues during this period. Taxes on air conditioners come in second place with just over ¼ of the FNME resources.

Resources from taxation on incandescent lamps represent 5% of FNME, knowing that the tax came into force in 2008.

Since its inception, the FNME spent about 102 MTD during the period 2005-2011.

The breakdown of disbursements by industry shows that the allocation of aid from FNME is strongly dominated by the development of natural gas in the residential and industrial sectors, which “attracted” 48% of disbursements of FNME, including 46% for the only residential sector. Support to renewable energy come in second place with 39% of the amounts paid by FNME over the period 2005-2011.

Energy efficiency comes in the third and last place with 13% of the volume of aid allocated by the FNME.

What are the impacts of FNME?

Over the period 2005-2011, the main impacts of FNME can be summarized as follows:

– Gains for the community: reduction of energy bill is estimated at 750 million dinars

– Gains for the state: energy subsidies avoided are estimated at 450 million dinars

Currently, interest is focused on the restructuring of FNME. Can you give us some clarification?

The feedback shows that the FNME today is the most important lever for the energy management policy in Tunisia. To boost investment in projects improving energy efficiency and developing renewable energies, FNME must be restructured at the level of:

– Its funding sources: FNME supply sources must be characterized by sustainability and equity;

-Its scope of intervention: Eligibility for benefits of FNME should not be limited to some measures, it is necessary to integrate new actions;

-Its mode of intervention: support to FNME must exceed granting premiums and playing the role of investment funds.

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