After three years of preparation, the first Tunisian Programme of Activities (PoAs) for solar water heating was registered successfully with the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) in April 2011. It is only the second African PoA focusing exclusively on solar water heaters after the “SASSA Low Pressure Solar Water Heater Programme” in South Africa, which started in March 2011.
Photos: Biome Solar Industry
The PoA allows solar thermal systems to be funded by selling the CDM’s Certified Emission Reductions (CERs). It also enables small, individual projects – which apply the same basic methods and monitoring technology - to jump under the umbrella of one single programme. This approach helps to reduce transaction costs and expand the size of projects which produce a high number of sustainable development co-benefits, but are difficult and expensive to carry out. The final scope of the programme and the number of individual projects does not have to be known at the time of registration. This means that after registration with the CDM Executive Board, additional solar water heater applications and installations can still be added while the PoA is running.
In case of the Solar Water Heater Programme in Tunisia, the stated goal of the PoA was to install around 30,000 SWH per year in households, thereby replacing carbon-intensive grid electricity and fossil fuels currently used to provide domestic hot water (see the attached PoA design document).
The first and so far only CDM Program Activity (CPA) which was included in the PoA covered 14,690 residential SWHs installed under Prosol 2 from 1 January 2008 to 30 June 2008. It is expected to result in annual emission reductions of on average 7,242 tons of CO2.
Eligible SWHs (typically of 2 to 4 m2) are supplied and installed by companies certified by ANME. The Tunisian Company of Electricity and Gas (STEG) is the third party communicating between the households and the Attijari Bank, which grants the loans to PoA applicants.
The PoA’s coordinating and managing entity is ANME itself. Additional revenue from the sale of Certified Emission Reductions (CERs) will help it to cover the costs incurred by SWH application processing throughout the PoA’s running time (January 2011 to January 2039) and also put in place a strong maintenance network to successfully operate and maintain an SWH over its lifetime. The CDM’s continued support seems certain to help create a stable mature SWH market in Tunisia.
The programme was registered almost 3 years after the start of validation process in 2008. The delay in validation was mainly due to the noncompliance of the starting date of the first CPA with the CDM’s PoA rules. This issue was finally resolved by an exemption issued by the CDM Executive Board to Programmes of Activities which have commenced validation prior to 31 December 2009.
List of registered Programme of Activities:
For more information on the “Solar Water Heater Programme in Tunisia”, go to http://cdm.unfccc.int/ProgrammeOfActivities/poa_
Attijari Bank: www.attijaribank.com.tn
This news was written by Mohamed Houssem Belhaouane, Energy and Environmental Engineer at Tunisian consultancy ALCOR, based in Tunis (www.alcor.com.tn).