Ways to maximise the Mediterranean countries’ potential in solar energy, as part of the “Desertec” project and Tunisia’s production capacities in this area, were the main topics discussed at a international conference on ” Desert’s Friendly Energy as a Challenge for Regional co-operation and the Union For the Mediterranean,” held in Gammarth.
German, Tunisian and Moroccan experts took part in this meeting organised by the German Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Foundation, in association with the Tunisian Industry, Trade and Handicrafts Union (UTICA)’s Junior Managers Centre and the Club of Rome.
According to the Chairman of Club of Rome Maw Schoen, the “Desertec” project, which was launched last July by the foundation which has the same name, provides for creating an inter-connected energy network supplied by solar power plants in Morocco and Saudi Arabia.
He pointed to the importance of activating and boosting energy co-operation between countries surrounding the Mediterranean, through achievement of concrete projects in matters of fight against climate warming and renewable energy.
National Energy Control Agency (ANME) Director-General Ben Aissa Ayadi expressed Tunisia’s total adherence to the “Desertec” project, underlining that several sites have been identified in the country to install thermo-solar plants.
As regard the Tunisian solar plan, Mr. Ayadi specified that the cost of this project, which covers the 2010/2016 period, is estimated at 4 billion dinars. It includes 40 projects, 17 of them dedicated to water heating, production of cold, drying of products, development of solar energy power production as well as 3 wind energy projects.
In this regard, a small 25 Megawatt-power plant (pilot project) carried out by the Tunisian Electricity and Gas Company (STEG) will be operational in 2013.