Tunisian Government passes a decree on the production and sale of renewable energy

Overview

The Tunisian Government has passed a decree which sets out the conditions and procedures for the generation of electricity from renewable energy projects for own-consumption or to meet local requirements and for exports of electricity to be sold to the Tunisian Electricity and Gas Company (the “TEGC”).

Generation of electricity from renewable sources for local consumption

The Decree sets out the maximum installed capacity permitted for generators of electricity intending to meet local requirements:

Type of Energy

Maximum installed capacity

Photovoltaic Solar Energy

10 MW

Solar Thermodynamic

10 MW

Wind Energy

30 MW

Biomass

15 MW

Other renewable energy sources

5 MW

Approval from the Minister for Energy is required for all such renewable energy projects. Developers are required to submit an application to the Minister in order to obtain an agreement in principle. The decree sets out the specific evidence that is required to support the application and includes detailed schedules, geographical and technical specifications.

When considering an application, the Ministry will review the developer’s technical and financial capability, the employment prospects linked to the project and the project’s compliance with regulations and environmental standards.

Confirmation of an agreement in principle will be delivered by the Ministry to the designated project leader. A sales contract must then be drawn up between the developer and the TEGC for the supply of renewable energy for local consumption. Within 18 months of the contract being signed, the developer must conduct an environmental impact survey, complete any financing deals, obtain all permissions and commence the works on the project. Once completed, the TEGC will conduct all necessary investigations to commission the project.

The agreement in principle will be valid for two for solar PV and three years for the other technologies and may be withdrawn if the development of the project is not completed within this timeframe.

Once works have completed and the project has been commissioned and connected to the national grid, the developer must apply to the Minister for Energy for authorisation for the production of electricity and its exclusive sale to the TEGC. Authorisation will be granted for a period of 20 years from the date of the decree, being 24 August 2016.