- Tunisia is to build at least two wind farms in Métline and Kérchabta in the far north of the country, which aim of producing about 400,000 MWh of renewable electricity annually.
The construction of the two new wind farms will be started following today's approval by the Spanish government, of granting a loan to Tunisia, amounting to euro 199,068,681 to finance the environmentally favourable energy project in the region of Bizerte. Bizerte is located at Tunisia's Mediterranean coast, in the windy far north of the country.
With the construction of these two wind farms, authorities hope to produce about 400,000 MWh of renewable electricity annually. Both the Spanish and Tunisian parties emphasise that this kind of energy production is totally free of CO2 emissions. The Bizerte region has estimated population of 250,000 that will benefit from an improved reliability of energy supply and thus improving living conditions, according to the Spanish government.
Tunisian authorities opted for the construction of several wind energy parks as part of a strategy aimed at increasing its use of renewable energies. This decision was adopted by stakeholders at a national conference held earlier this year.
The national conference on energy approved an accord saying the country needed to take steps to reduce its dependence on imported oil products that negatively affects its balance of trade. Authorities and the private sector agreed renewable energies would be a must for Tunisia's further development.
Especially the industrial and tourism sectors have already signalled they are willing to incorporate solar and wind energy production into their activities. These sectors therefore are expected to provide some private capital into the development of the renewable energy sector in Tunisia, in addition to state and foreign capital investments.
Concrete plans by now include the installation of three wind farms over a period of two years in the Bizerte region, whose total output is expected to cover the entire electricity needs of that region. Out of these, two have now secured Spanish funding. Further projects are expected to be announced soon.
Also for Spanish authorities, the deal is interesting as it both provides for an export of Spanish technology and contributes to the lowering of Spain's CO2 emissions. According to Spanish government sources, the loans given Tunisia in addition to the grant are favourable, with a 30-year repayment period, including a ten-year grace, and interest rates of only 1.5 percent.
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