The Sun Is Here: Tunisia Could Provide Energy To Europe
In the desert south of Tunisia, a group of entrepreneurs in renewable energy, NUR Energy Ltd, and Tunisian Top Oilfield Services created what may be the most ambitious solar renewable energy project to date.
With the support of the Foundation Desertec (Desertec.com) NUR Energy launched the TuNur to export solar energy from North Africa to Europe, linking Tunisia to Italy via a line of High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC), and in the Italian power grid to provide 2000 MW of electricity constantly. When completed, TuNur will be the most extensive solar energy project in the world. And with the threatening reality of climate change, limited supplies of traditional energy sources and examples of recent nuclear and oil disasters, renewable energy is no longer an idealistic choice but a necessity. As a human species, we cannot afford not to rush into such projects.
What is really unique about this project is that it is a true South-North cooperation which highlights not only the socio-economic benefits that such an association can bring (TuNur expected that the project will create about 20 000 jobs more than welcome in Tunisia), but also takes into account the environmental impact, which led to the choice of the technology (solar thermal power plants) and the overall design of the project. And to not accelerate the process of desertification, TuNur use very little water in a closed system and recycle the steam produced by this process using mirrors reflecting sunlight to a storage tower, turning the Sahara into a resource that can both lead the local economy and meet the growing demand for low carbon electricity.
Unlike other ambitious projects, where idealism, high costs and poor timing clashed with the harsh reality of pipeline construction giant solar, the project of NUR TuNur Energy has come.
Basma – International Green Energy Correspondent – 02/02/2012