Tunisia harvests wind power for economic benefits

Published January 29th, 2004 - 02:00 GMT

Tunisia will harvest the wind with modern turbine windmills to generate 100 megawatts of electricity. Funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the windmills will cut greenhouse gas emissions, foster private investment and create new jobs.  


"The Global Environment Facility estimates that its $10.5 million funding for the initiative will multiply tenfold through $106 million in private investment, thus enabling construction of large, environmentally friendly wind farms on a scale rarely seen in developing countries," said United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Resident Representative, Patrice Ariel Français.  


UNDP will implement the project with Tunisian agencies as partners. The clean power generated, to flow into the country's existing electricity grid, will contribute to reducing global climate change. The government has pledged up to $18 million in fiscal incentives and subsidies.  


The German Technical Cooperations (GTZ) is providing one million euros in co-financing for technical assistance to help prepare local industries supply equipment and services for the wind farms, including manufacturing electrical and other equipment and civil engineering work. The goal is to have local companies provide at least 40 percent of the inputs.  


The project will also strengthen the capacity of partner agencies involved in wind power development, including the National Renewable Energy Agency (ANER), the Independent Power Production Office, the Tunisian Electricity and Gas Company (STEG), the National Directorate of Energy (DGE), and the Ministry of Energy.  


Preliminary studies indicate that Tunisia has the potential to generate more than 1,000 megawatts from wind energy. The UNDP/GEF project will likely contribute to the development of a competitive wind market, and in particular the growth of local industry around the technology of wind turbines and their components, he noted. — (menareport.com) 


© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)

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