Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

Tunisia is attempting to put theory into practice

Special report 11th FEMIP conference

Written by Gérard Tur with Nadia Chahed, TUNIS on Thursday, December 5th 2013 à 15:40 | Read 787 times


Dwindling resources and an increase in consumption. Tunisia aims to solve this complicated energy equation by applying already existing legislation in the field.

While a situation of excess energy was evident in Tunisia in the 1980s (around 3 Mtoe), the country has now become a net importer of energy due to a fall in its production of hydrocarbons and an explosion in domestic demand. In 2013, the situation continues to deteriorate.
The energy sector in Tunisia has been marked by a 1.5% increase in primary energy consumption and a 0.7% increase in electricity consumption along with a 7% drop in national energy resources over the first ten months of 2013. This imbalance is getting worse despite the 45 new exploration authorisations granted and the continued actions being taken with regard to energy management.
As a result, the energy deficit reached 2 Mtoe at the end of October 2013. This is already higher than in 2012 (1.72 Mtoe) and should climb to 2.4 Mtoe between now and the end of the year according to the Tunisian Ministry of Industry.

Buildings are on the front line

Tunis (photo M. Périn)
Tunis (photo M. Périn)
In Tunisia, the construction sector has, for a long time, offered poorly insulated buildings with numerous glazed façades, not taking into account the country’s specific climatic conditions. Since the 1980s, the government has put in place a national strategy for energy management which was supported in 1985 by the creation of the Energy Management Agency, now known as the National Agency for Energy Management (ANME). It wasn’t until 1990 that the first law for energy management was introduced. Tunisia took another step in 2004 by adopting building insulation and energy regulations. But the legislation still isn’t widely applied. The third largest consumer of energy in Tunisia, the construction sector will become the second largest in 2020 and the largest in 2030 if the situation remains unchanged.
ANME has just put together a team of construction experts charged with implementing the existing legislation. It will be operational in May 2014. The team must enable the construction of 80,000 homes that conform to energy efficiency standards in Tunisia between now and the end of 2014.

Nidhal Ourfelli, the Secretary of State for Energy and Mines, points out that "two decrees are being published in order to promote building insulation regulations. They concern healthcare and hotel buildings.”

Tunisia is committed to an action plan for the period 2013-2020. It envisages the generation of 16.5 Mtoe in primary energy savings during these eight years. The construction sector will be the largest contributor to these results, and should account for 49% of savings generated during this period. With 4.4 Mtoe, or 26% of the expected savings, this industry would be the second pillar of this policy, closely followed by the transport sector covering 4.1 Mtoe or 25% of savings.

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