Moncef Ben Abdallah is a Senior Advisor to the Tunisian Ministry of Energy. Christian Roselund interviewed him, an eight minute video is here.
(Note aside to SolarPV-TV: I was unable to embed this video in my WordPress blog.)
They talk in that video about the plans to increase solar energy in Tunisia. I learn that Tunisia now relies to 96% on gas for their energy. They want to diversify. They want to keep their own gas resources for longer, and stop importing gas from Algeria. They want to develop a solar industry.
I recall that one of the Desertec projects is Tunur, located in Tunisia. I posted a video about this a couple of years ago. Here it is again:
That project comes with the idea of connecting it to Europe over a power line to Italia. The interview discusses this point as well.
And Abdallah thinks that it will still take a couple of years until such a power line is ready. Also. once it is, maybe more electricity will be exported to Africa than imported into Europe, a situation only expected to change over the longer term. Anyway, such a power line would not be a one-way street.
It may be not immediately clear right now in which direction such a power line would be used more. But there are a couple of things that are very clear.
If Germany can get to one third of peek weekday electricity demand from solar alone, so can Tunisia, with much better solar resources.
Whatever solar capacity Tunisia installs in the next couple of years will be installed at much lower prices than when Germany went ahead with the feed-in tariff fueled explosive growth.
And every kWh generated from solar in Tunisia will remove the need to burn gas.
Anyway, that was an interesting interview. I recommend watching it.