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Tunisia: tertiary PROSOL targets hotels

With over 825 hotel units and an energy requirement of about 28,000 toe / year, the tourism sector consumes 140 ktoe or 23% of the share in the tertiary sector. The average energy consumption connected to the operation of a bed per year in Tunisia is estimated at the equivalent of 4 barrels of oil. Therefore, for every $ 1 increase on a barrel, a rise in state subsidy of about 1.2MD is recorded. The distribution of final energy consumption shows that there is a strong argument in depth in the consumption of electricity and natural gas by about 6% per year, with 41% and 35%, consecutively and the percentage of hot water consumption is estimated at about 32%. This increase is explained by the rapid development of hotel units which in turn resulted in strong demand for electricity at peak periods.

Considering these issues, the established tertiary PROSOL program is the second area covered by the mechanism of promotion of solar water heaters for collective use, and this after the success of the “Residential PROSOL.”
 Abdelkader Baccouche, head of department in charge of the tertiary PROSOL Program and PROSOL Industry explains hereafter the usefulness of this program and the gains made in 2010.
 Interview:  

What is the architecture of the program?

This program is initiated with support from Italian Cooperation and the United Nations Environment Program. It aims to install 30,000 square feet on the period 2010-2016 and which can affect all services sectors and especially priority sectors, namely hotels, health establishments and university halls of residence.

The advantages offered by this program are manifold, namely the financial benefits, 30% of the cost of investment with a ceiling of 150 D square meter by the National Fund for Mastery of Energy and an additional 10% as subprime on investment with a ceiling of 50 D   square meter on the UN Environment Program while adding bonus interest rate of 2 points on the interest rate if a loan is contracted to install the solar project in this sector and improvement of maintenance contracts to 5 years beyond the first warranty year.

Your activity report for 2010

About 3800 square meters were achieved during the previous year of from a target of 5000 square meters. So we realized about 70% of our goals. It was the first year of the launch of this project and a growth in realization is expected in 2011.

To accompany the project and ensure results of installing the solar group, ANME has established a procedure based on eligible operators licensed by the agency of equipment eligible for the program PROSOL.

How do you assess this first initiative, are there any constraints faced during this starting year?

Really and like any project in the initial phase, we can say that 2010 was a year of assessment. The project was actually initiated in 2009. As such, it may be noted that several projects were implemented during 2009, namely one hundred projects in the hotel industry and other projects in the services sector.
It was really a success, given that the results achieved by the hotels we followed after completion gives us energy savings that can reach up to 70% on hot water and save about 25% and even 30% on the overall energy bill of the hotel.

Since the inception of tertiary PROSOL, we recorded a significant development in the hotel sector with 51 hotels joining the tertiary PROSOL program including 13 in 2010, and that by signing an agreement with consulting firms eligible for carrying out detailed feasibility studies or construction of a decentralized installation, the completion of 12 solar installations in the hotel sector with a total area of sensors of 1,770 square meters,  including 413 m² of solar collectors installed in the year 2010 (LIDO, El Jinen and EL Bostan hotels) and 16 solar installations are in progress with a total area of 1800 sqm.

Can you give an example?

The first hotel that has joined this program is installed in Djerba with an area of sensors of 312 square meters installed and total investment for the realization of this collective installation of about 200 thousand dinars. The premiums that have been granted amount to 70,000 dinars and gains on the energy bill are 42 thousand dinars annually. So the payback is about 4 years. This installation was followed annually with remote control and web control. Compared to 2008, the year set as a reference year, there were energy gains of around 42 dinars per year.

Is there such a strategy to stimulate hotel keepers to convince them of the importance of joining this program?

To boost this program, we have implemented a comprehensive communication plan that involves the preparation of communication tools, leaflets, posters, a website and especially the organization of meetings in all tourist areas, namely the Djerba seminar held recently and attended by a hundred hotels. This meeting was an opportunity to take stock of the premiums and benefits provided under the program to promote solar energy in the tertiary sector, on new technologies used in the solar field, such as solar cooling or even other technologies used in the collective sector, for example, sensor gravity compensation.

What are your prospects for 2011?

The project, which is already part of the Tunisian solar plan, provides for the installation of 30 thousand square meters 2010-2016. The target for 2011 is to install 5,000 square meters, and above all complete the communication plan.

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