Increasing energy efficiency in Tunisia

Project description

Project title: Promotion of Energy Efficiency in Tunisia
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Tunisia
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Energy, Mines and Renewable Energy
Overall term: 2017 to 2021


Energy supply in Tunisia is inefficient and is ineffective in respect of climate-damaging emissions. The existing subsidy policy acts as a disincentive to the efficient and economical use of energy. Necessary investments that could improve the supply structure are delayed or take the form of economically questionable temporary solutions.

Tunisia relies on imports to meet 60 per cent of its energy requirement, and this is expected to increase. Greater efficiency could reduce the demand for energy and thus make the country less dependent on energy imports and could lower climate-damaging emissions. The energy transition announced in 2014 aims to achieve a reduction in energy demand of 34 per cent by 2030. It also aims to reduce subsidies and create incentives for cost-effective and climate-friendly investments. 

Electricity and fuel costs rose several times between 2014 and 2019. Politicians and end users are therefore paying greater attention to investments in energy efficiency. Important decisions and investments are being made to assist the development of renewable energy yet the targets to achieve greater energy efficiency are lagging behind. Tunisia cannot achieve its 2015 target for a successful energy transition and meet its nationally determined contributions (NDCs) to cut emissions, unless it manages not only to broaden its energy mix to include renewable energy but also to invest in energy-efficiency measures. The aim is for these energy-efficiency measures to contribute two-thirds towards meeting its NDC targets. 

Meanwhile, the country lacks the institutional mechanisms and stakeholder involvement is minimal. This is an obstacle to implementing national plans and strategies to boost energy efficiency. The country still lacks a developed market for services and a comprehensive method of disseminating information, particularly outside the country's main urban centres. A national conference to improve energy efficiency was held in April 2018, which heralded a new beginning, but the prioritised measures are yet to be announced.


The Tunisian Government is successfully implementing its national energy efficiency strategy throughout the country. 


The project actively promotes energy efficiency in all parts of the country, working with its implementing partner, the national energy agency ANME, and other partners in the capital city, the governorates and municipalities. 

Together with its partner organisations, the project is designing the current energy efficiency strategy for two energy-intensive sectors (brickworks and private service buildings). This improves the political and organisational conditions for promoting energy efficiency and has boosted market development. The service sector is being strengthened by an exchange of knowledge and technology and can now support two pilot regions in implementing regional action plans. In order to mainstream knowledge on energy efficiency in the long term, the project is addressing the topic in a professional way. It is also developing the capacity of training centres so that they can offer high-quality training. The training programmes focus on individuals who play a key role in promoting and implementing energy efficiency. 

The project's approach is to work with ministries, institutions and also municipalities with the aim of bringing about a significant improvement in energy efficiency. At the same time, the project is mainstreaming the issue in Tunisia and is contributing to the successful implementation of the Tunisian energy transition. 


The project is supporting Tunisia at various levels to use energy resources efficiently, both directly and indirectly.

Help is being given to three pilot towns – Tozeur, Mahdia and Kef – to carry out energy audits and produce action plans that will serve as the basis for reducing their energy consumption and their greenhouse gas emissions. This reduces energy expenditure that allows the three towns, which together have around 150,000 inhabitants, to invest in other areas for their citizens and improve the quality of life. The most successful example will serve as a model for all 350 municipalities in Tunisia. The technologies required will be applied in various sectors (the construction materials industry, hotels, the food sector, the transport sector) and the results verified by energy audits. The project continues to support training for the specialist staff required and capacity development in the relevant training institutions. For example, to date 19 trainers and multipliers have been trained as energy efficiency experts together with 60 auditors for ISO50.001, and 18 solar system installers have been certified. Further training courses on building insulation will be held.