13 July 2012 – Tunisialive reports that according to a major new study conducted by the German consortium Desertec Industrial Initiative, Tunisia could play a central role in the distribution of energy throughout North Africa, the Middle East, and Europe – with potentially massive gains to the country’s economy.

Some of the recommendations of the study are being implemented in Tunisia. Nur Energy, a collaboration between the British solar plant developer NurEnergie and Tunisian investors, recently held a conference in Tunis announcing the commencement of construction on the world’s biggest solar energy export project.

According to Desertec research conducted in collaboration with the state energy provider Tunisian Electricity and Gas Company’s renewable energy branch, Tunisia’s solar and wind resources make the country an ideal location to base the anticipated EU-Middle East and North Africa energy grid. Given Tunisia’s capacity to accommodate renewable energy production on a large scale, this initiative would also allow the country to considerably reduce its dependency on fossil fuels.

Desertec’s report says that by 2050 Tunisia can augment its electrical production capabilities by a factor of four through the use of wind harvesting, photovoltaic cells, and solar thermal technologies. The study argued that, through this initiative, Tunisia could become a world leader in renewable energy production, opening itself to new job markets and diversifying its economy.

Tunisia’s government has said it will invest US$2.5 billion over the next four years in the domestic energy sector, with preference given to clean energy, through the Tunisian Electricity and Gas Company.