LONDON, ENGLAND: Renewable energy investment company, Low Carbon and utility scale solar developer Nur Energie, are partnering in the development of their TuNur project. TuNur is a flagship 2GW solar export project in the Tunisian Sahara which will be connected to the European electricity grid via a dedicated cable.
The project will produce almost twice as much energy as any of the UK’s current nuclear power plants and can even produce power when the sun is down.
The project is currently undergoing permitting in Tunisia and Europe, and is set to reach financial close and start construction in 2016. When the project comes online in by late 2018 it will provide clean and reliable power to more than 2.5 million UK homes.
The announcement of the commitment from Low Carbon and Nur to take the TuNur project forward to the next stage follows the significant milestones achieved over the course of the project’s development which have provided confidence in its success.
The majority of the project’s feasibility and preliminary licencing has now been completed including an offer of a 2GW grid connection solution (“STMG”) from Terna, the Italian grid operator, for an interconnection point in Italy. The project is now entering into the next stage of permitting and development, putting it on track to start construction by the end of 2016.
Energy security is currently a key concern for European countries, following disruptions to energy supplies due to the unsettled situation in the Ukraine and the Middle-East. European authorities have called for member states to take active steps to reduce their dependency on fossil fuels, potentially by investing in renewable technologies.
Furthermore, as global demand for renewable energy rises, it is becoming increasingly important that renewable energy projects are built to a scale that has a significant impact on the decarbonisation of electricity grids.
Africa presents many new exciting investment opportunities for the renewable energy industry, with its abundance of solar and wind resources. According to the European Commission’s Institute for Energy, 0.3 percent of the sunlight that shines on the Sahara and Middle Eastern deserts could supply all of Europe’s energy needs. Investing in such regions is crucial for diversifying our energy supplies for the future.