The European Union and Tunisia: political agreement on a comprehensive partnership package including green energy transition

On 16th of July, the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, the Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, in a Team Europe spirit, alongside the President of Tunisia, Kaïs Saied have agreed to implement the comprehensive partnership package announced jointly on 11th June 2023. And they witnessed the signature of the Memorandum of Understanding by Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi and Secretary of State of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Migration and Tunisians Abroad, Mounir Ben Rjiba.

In a press statement by president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, talking about the fourth point of the signed MOU:

“… This brings me to my fourth point. Tunisia has a huge potential for renewables. This is well known. It needs to develop this sector. And we are reliable suppliers of technology that is necessary, and we know that Europe needs reliable supply of clean energy. So, as we are decarbonising our economies, and for that, we need clean energy sources – like for example green hydrogen – and electricity produced from renewables. So, it is a win-win situation. It is in both our shared interest. We are already working on several projects, like ELMED, the undersea cable linking Tunisia to Italy, bringing electricity to Europe. Here, we are investing over EUR 300 million in this project. And this is just the beginning. We will conclude with Tunisia a strategic partnership on energy to accelerate the energy transition and create good jobs locally. The aim is to improve security of supply and to provide both our people and our companies clean energy at affordable prices….”

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Malta and Tunisia have room for further relations, including in energy sector, Maltese Prime Minister

In a meeting held in Tunisia on 10th of July 2023, the Maltese Prime Minister Robert Abela met with President of Tunisia Kais Saied and the Prime Minister of Tunisia Najla Bouden at the President Palace of Carthage. Prime Minister Robert Abela was accompanied by Foreign Minister Ian Borg and Home Minister Byron Camilleri.

Abela pointed out how Malta is looking to continue improving relations and cooperation with Tunisia, as both countries have common commitments and aspirations for a stable Mediterranean region. And he says future cooperation on renewable energy will benefit the residents of both countries, and Tunisia is a crucial partner in the development of such projects.

The leaders also discussed ongoing talks between the EU and Tunisia on a comprehensive partnership package focused on strengthening economic and trade ties, an energy partnership, migration and people-to-people contacts.

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Italy to use EU funds to become energy hub for Europe

Italy intends to use funds coming from the European Union under the so-called REPowerEU plan to completely wean itself off Russian gas and turn the country into energy hub for the bloc as per The Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni who met with relevant ministers and the CEOs of energy groups Eni (ENI.MI), Enel (ENEI.MI), Snam (SRG.MI) and Terna (TRN.MI) to mention the need to cooperate with Africa on energy supplies.

With total funds close to 300 billion euros, the REPowerEU plan is aimed at ending the EU’s dependence on Russian fossil fuels and tackling the climate crisis.

Money coming from the RePowerEU could also be devoted to build the so-called SoutH2 Corridor, a link to bring hydrogen that would be produced in northern Africa to northern Europe, one source with knowledge of the matter said.

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Africa likely to be EU’s most important renewable energy partner

“The continent of Africa is probably going to be the most important partner for Europe in terms of developing the renewable energy sector,” said Frans Timmermans, EU Climate Chief during an interview at the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) assembly in Abu Dhabi.

While Europe is growing its domestic renewable energy production, it will also need to look beyond its borders to secure the levels it needs. To help fill the gap, many in the EU are looking to Africa, where there is a high potential for renewable energy production, in particular solar power.

Timmermans point to potential partnerships with the wider Mediterranean and North Africa.

There are already several venues for collaborations between the EU and Africa regarding renewables, including the EU-Africa energy partnership, which looks to increase access to affordable and sustainable energy services, support renewable energy investments and promote energy efficiency on the continent.

The EU needs to strengthen its relationship with North African countries, which have similar geographical and climate conditions to much of southern Europe.

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Tunisia launches new tenders for Renewable Energy

Tunisia’s Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy launched on the 23rd of December 2022 a new tender to deploy a total estimated capacity of 1.7 GW of solar and wind from 2023 to 2025 under the RE Independent Power Projects (IPPs).

For the solar PV projects, the Tunisian authorities are seeking proposals to build solar plants with total capacity of 800 MW to be tendered across four equal rounds of 200 MW each. The deadline to submit project proposals for the first round has been set for June 15, 2023. For the fourth and final round, the submission date has been set for an unspecified date in September 2025. Developers will be responsible for identifying and securing land for the projects.

Two other Solar PV projects will be installed on state-owned lands located respectively, in Hecha, in Gabes governorate (300 Ha) and Khobna, in Sidi Bouzid Governorate (270 Ha). The total capacity of these two projects still needs to be confirmed. Interested developers have, until May 18, to submit their proposals.

For the Wind projects, it would consist of a total capacity of 600 MW to be tendered across four equal rounds of 150 MW each. The deadline to submit project proposals for the first round has been set for September 14, 2023. For the fourth and final round, the submission date has been set for an unspecified date in November 2025. Developers bears the primary responsibility to procure the land on which the project will be installed.


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IEA Special Report: Renewable electricity growth is accelerating faster than ever worldwide, supporting the emergence of the new global energy economy

The growth of the world’s capacity to generate electricity from solar panels, wind turbines and other renewable technologies is on course to accelerate over the coming years.

By 2026, global renewable electricity capacity is forecast to rise more than 60% from 2020 levels to over 4 800 GW – equivalent to the current total global power capacity of fossil fuels and nuclear combined. Renewables are set to account for almost 95% of the increase in global power capacity through 2026, with solar PV alone providing more than half. The amount of renewable capacity added over the period of 2021 to 2026 is expected to be 50% higher than from 2015 to 2020. This is driven by stronger support from government policies and more ambitious clean energy goals announced before and during the COP26 Climate Change Conference.

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Skyrocketing energy, carbon prices already make green hydrogen competitive

Antonio Delgado Rigal, chief executive of energy forecasting service AleaSoft, tells pv magazine that skyrocketing gas and electricity prices are putting the global economy under strong pressure, while also opening up huge opportunities for solar, renewables and green hydrogen. He says current gas and electricity prices, along with rising CO2 prices, already make green hydrogen competitive. He therefore calls for immediate action on building new capacity, but acknowledges that a quick end is not yet in sight for rising prices.

Skyrocketing energy, carbon prices already make green hydrogen competitive – pv magazine International (

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