Youssef Chahed at the inauguration of Nawara field. Photo credit: Presidency of the Tunisian government

By ratifying the Paris Agreement on the climate in 2016, Tunisia promised to reduce its carbon intensity by 41% in all sectors and 46% in the energy sector by 2030 compared with 2010 rates. The Tunisian government also committed to integrating renewable energies in electricity production at the level of 30%. Currently, 97% of electric energy is produced from gas. Renewable energy only represents 3% of total electricity production according to the Ministry of Industry. At the end of 2018, electricity production from renewable energies remained « limited » according to the ministry. The country’s renewable energy projects include two wind farms in the north of Tunisia with a total power of 245 megawatts (MW), 55 MW produced under the domestic consumption plan thanks to photovoltaic solar energy and 62 MW originating from hydroelectricity.

In the meantime there has been a surge in the exploitation of fossil energy. In July 2019, six exploration licenses were granted to foreign companies. On the occasion, Ministry of Industry Slim Feriani congratulated himself for the increase in exploration licenses granted, seeing it as a step towards reducing the energy deficit. « We are seeing an accelerated exploitation of fossil fuels such as gas and petroleum », warns Marco Jonville, coordinator of the environmental justice department at the Tunisian Forum for Social and Economic Rights (FTDES).