Tunisia, a North African country known for its rich history and beautiful Mediterranean coastline, is taking a significant step towards a greener future.
The country has secured massive funding to develop a 120 MW solar power plant, thanks to the UAE-based clean energy firm, AMEA Power, and the support of the International Finance Corporation and the African Development Bank.
The funding package includes a substantial $26 million in debt financing from both the IFC and the AfDB. This financial support will be crucial in ensuring the successful construction, operation, and maintenance of the utility-scale solar facility in Tunisia’s Kairouan Governorate. With an overall budget of $86 million, this project represents Tunisia’s largest solar endeavor to date.
The benefits of this solar power plant are far-reaching. Upon completion in 2025, it is expected to significantly increase consumer access to clean energy while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions by more than 100,000 tons per year. This reduction in emissions will not only contribute to a cleaner environment, but it will also help Tunisia reduce its reliance on expensive electricity imports.
Dr. Kevin Kariuki, Vice President of Power, Energy, Climate, and Green Growth for the AfDB, expressed his delight at reaching this milestone. He stated, “We are delighted to reach this milestone, the signing of project agreements, making the first disbursement, and therefore commencement of construction of Tunisia’s first solar Independent Power Producer (IPP) project imminent.” Dr. Kariuki also highlighted the project’s role in helping Tunisia achieve its clean energy target of 35% by 2030.
In addition to the environmental benefits, the solar power plant project is expected to promote energy security in Tunisia. By harnessing the power of the sun, the country will be able to diversify its energy sources and decrease its dependence on traditional fossil fuels. This move towards renewable energy will not only make Tunisia more self-reliant but also attract further private investment to its burgeoning renewable energy sector.
Moreover, the project will enhance the competitiveness of Tunisia’s power sector. By utilizing solar energy, the country can decrease its reliance on expensive electricity imports, effectively reducing the cost of electricity for consumers. This cost savings will not only benefit individual households but also help stimulate economic growth by making Tunisia more attractive to businesses.
From a macro-fiscal perspective, the solar power plant also holds promise. The facility is expected to contribute to the restoration of the country’s macro-fiscal stability, which has been impacted by the high costs associated with electricity imports. By investing in renewable energy, Tunisia can create a more sustainable and stable economic future.