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Tunisia, France sign arrangement on development of renewable energy

Published the:  24/03/2011

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March. 24, 2011  -TAP - An administrative arrangement on the development and rational use of renewable energy was signed, on Thursday in Tunis, between the Industry and Technology Ministry and the French Ministry of Economy, Finance and Industry.
The agreement, which is part of the Tunisian Solar Plan (PST) and the Mediterranean Solar Plan (PSM), aims to establish an institutional and technical co-operation to set up renewable energy projects.
Under this agreement, both sides will seek to develop energy co-operation through assistance in and contribution to implementation of joint programmes and projects.
At the institutional level, the two sides will identify available opportunities in matters of financial engineering to set up energy projects.
They will also identify and develop tools needed for the economic viability of renewable energy in Tunisia and establish mechanisms to help promote power produced from renewable energy in Tunisia on the European markets.
The technological and scientific aspect of this arrangement provides for developing partnership between institutions active in the area of research and development of solutions in matters of renewable energy.
Emphasis will also be laid, in this regard, on the consolidation of joint technological platforms to identify and develop innovating solutions in the renewable energy sector.
The two sides will work together to energise within the Union for the Mediterranean (UFM) and the 5+5 Forum the dynamics pertaining to renewable energy development, energy efficiency and renewable energy transportation.
The signing ceremony was held at the end of an enlarged working session chaired by Industry and Technology Minister Abdelaziz Rassaa and French Economy, Finance and Industry Minister Eric Besson, with attendance of Secretary of State in charge of Technology Adel Gaaloul.
Mr. Besson expressed France's will to assist Tunisia in this transitional stage, placing emphasis on the development of inland regions which is a priority of the Tunisian economic policy.
The French Minister called on the Tunisian side to identify its needs and possible future projects in the industrial sector, to which France could contribute.
He also highlighted the opportunities offered to Tunisia to take part in several energy projects as part of North-South co-operation and UFM.
Mr. Besson also pointed to the power interconnection project in the Mediterranean (Medgrid) which seeks to evaluate the feasibility of the power network allowing sending to the North one part of the solar or wind energy produced by the South, in addition to the submarine cable linking Tunisia to Europe.
The French Official also raised the issue of Tunisia's participation in the initiative "Passport for Digital Economy" which is an action designed to ease small- and medium-sized enterprises' access to information technology and the Internet.
Mr. Rassaa reminded, in turn, that the strategic study on the Tunisian industry by 2016 seeks to double exchanges with the European Union in general and France in particular.