Developing renewable energies is one of the tasks that governments and international organisations have marked in red in all their agendas. They know that this is a sector on which much of the progress of the coming years will depend, although, for the moment, developing joint policies is proving to be a more complicated task than many imagined some time ago. This is largely because there are many bureaucratic barriers that are hindering the implementation of renewable energy systems. And not only at the global level, but also at the state level, as in the case of Tunisia.
"Towards a net zero carbon emissions scenario in the Mediterranean: Engaging dialogue to explore opportunities and overcome challenges", is the title of the lecture organised by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation in collaboration with the Institute of Mediterranean Studies. The conference, moderated by Iskander Ben Mustapha, a private sector advisor on international development and renewable energies, focused on the development of these energies in the world and, in particular, on the links that can be established at a global level. In addition, the many possibilities that Tunisia offers and the barriers that the industry is encountering in order to turn ideas into reality were discussed.
Ramzi Jelalia, a Tunisian lawyer with extensive experience in consulting in the energy sector, and Abdelatif Hammouda, president of the Tunisian Association of Renewable Energy Producers, rounded off a round table discussion on the reasons that are complicating the implementation of green energy. What was clear was that it must be taken into account that the Tunisian country is going through a process of instability, something that does not leave an easy context. However, the speakers agreed that, although it is not easy, not everything that can be done is being done, or at least that is the feeling that remains in the energy sector.
Jelalia spoke of the need to create a good legal basis to enable the development of renewable energy infrastructures, as one of the fundamental problems faced by entrepreneurs in the sector is the immense number of obstacles that exist in order to carry them out. The process of creating new laws to facilitate these processes has been very slow and there are numerous projects that are being blocked in this situation. Some are even receiving negative reports based on specifications, something that would not be possible under the new law.
However, the problem in the Tunisian energy sector is not limited to the country's own obstacles. Iskander Ben Mustapha also points to the strategy being followed by the European Union when it comes to establishing ties with the South. It is true that the initiatives have an ambitious objective, but, from Mustapha's point of view, economic aid is of no use if it does not go hand in hand with the learning process that, he says, countries such as Tunisia still require.
The renewable energy advisor calls for the EU to provide African countries with infrastructures and knowledge so that they can grow in the energy sector, instead of sending money that, as a result of the lack of knowledge in many countries, they cannot make the most of. It calls for studies to understand the situation and problems of each country, whose differences also make a single response difficult, as each context requires a different way of acting. Only in this way, following a study of the problems and the solutions required, will it be possible to really improve the installation of renewable energy systems and improve the links between Africa and Europe in this sector.