Tunisia to Export Solar Energy to Europe

One of the world's first utility-scale solar export projects is under way in the northern African nation of Tunisia. Nur Energie has been working to develop a 2,000 MW solar export project that plans to transport solar energy from a concentrated solar power (CSP) plant in Tunisia to Europe, thanks to cables under the Mediterranean.

According to the company's website, the project is planned in three phases, beginning with constructing and operating a CSP plant with a capacity of 2GW in southwestern Tunisia. Phase two will create a means to transport the energy, with the building of a high-voltage direct current cable that travels across land and under the Mediterranean to Italy. In its third phase, electricity will be made available to European customers throughout Europe. The solar-generated electricity will travel as far as the UK. A report in TheEngineer.co.uk yesterday states that Nur Energie is in partnership with British investors, and that the project claims by that late 2018 the project will be capable of providing more than 2.5 million UK households with energy. The Tunisian site was chosen, according to Nur Energie, because solar data shows that Tunisia has up to 20% better solar radiation than the best sites in Europe. In addition, the project was well-suited for Tunisia because the Sahara region provides significant land for solar development projects.

Solar energy transport: new norm, or passing phase?