Employment, Qualification and Economic Effects - Energy Situation in Tunisia

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According to the Tunisian Solar Plan[1]and other sources[2]:

  • renewable energy (RE) and energy efficiency increases in Tunisia will generate additional employment for between 7,000 and 20,000 people until the year 2030.
  • Total investment will be TND 18.28 billion on renewable energy and TND 1.5 billion on energy efficiency measures[3].
  • Total RE capacity installed for electricity generation will be 4,045 MW and additional capacity from solar water heaters will be 700 MW.
  • The total energy savings by 2030 will be 120,000 GWh.
  • There are currently 3,391 people employed in the renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors.
  • The largest share, 1,445 people, work in renewable energy, followed by 931 in energy efficiency, and 975 in cross-sectional activities, i.e. research, consulting and the promotion of renewable energy and energy efficiency.


Given the current production structure in Tunisia in the short term, most employment will be generated from the installation, operation and maintenance of renewable energy capacities and from increasing energy efficiency in buildings. In the long term, increased integration of production processes and exports of PV and solar water heaters can also contribute to further job creation. Most qualifications in the renewable energy sector are specialisations within already existing qualifications: electricians specialise in photovoltaics (PV), plumbers in solar water heaters, etc. Additional employment, depending on the import/export scenario, is between 0.2% and 0.5% of today’s employment. The largest percentage contribution will come from the construction sector and in the production of machinery and electrical equipment. Taken together, additional employment will increase the workforce by 1.4% within these sectors in 2016 in comparison with today.[2]

Comparison - Generation of Employment

Energy Efficiency within Buildings

A comparison of employment generated per investment of TND 100 million suggest that energy efficiency within buildings generates the most employment, followed by solar water heaters (SWH) and PV installations and finally by wind energy and Concentrated Solar Power (CSP).[2]

Photovoltaic (PV)

Though Photovoltaic (PV) production facilities can be easily imported and implemented in any country, new production capacities do not seem recommendable on a large scale under the current consolidation phase in the international PV markets. Tunisia should benefit from falling PV prices and realise the employment opportunities available for installation and in the production of PV system electrical and electronic components.[2]

Wind Energy

Wind energy does not contribute as many jobs as the first three technologies mentioned but provides opportunities for technology development because component manufacture leads to an additional demand for inputs from other Tunisian production sectors. Additionally, wind energy will provide academic jobs for wind prognosis services.[2]


To become successful in international markets, products need to maintain high quality standards and be certified. For certification procedures, new qualifications in the service sector need to be developed according to international standards such as the Solar Keymark Certification. This generates new opportunities for qualification within the service sector. Next to funding and support from the Tunisian National Fonds for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (Fonds National pour la Maîtrise de l’Energie - FNME), the Solar Plan expects co-financing and support from international finance institutions, the European Union and individual European countries, international carbon-based funds and further international funds. For this reason, we do not analyse the crowding-out effects of alternative investment options. Solar thermal water heaters, insulation measures and PV installations on private houses pay for themselves within a reasonable timespan (5–10 years). Solar thermal water heaters save costs for other sources of hot water. Insulation and PV can greatly reduce the costs of air conditioning by means of reducing the need for cooling and producing electricity during peak demand times. However, their attractiveness for electricity consumers depends on future electricity prices.

PV electricity generation during peak times (the middle of the day in summer) will also help to balance the load and the burden on the grid. This can create an incentive for the Tunisian Electricity and Gas Company (Société Tunisienne d’Electricité et du Gaz - STEG) to support private PV generation to some extent. These three technologies need support for the initial investment at reasonable terms, such as the PROSOL programme that currently exists for solar heaters or the PROMO-ISOL programme that has been suggested for roof insulation.

Continuous development of the policy towards more renewable energy supports the employment outlook. International experience shows that a stable policy framework and transparent support mechanisms are the most important prerequisites for the successful development of renewable energy and the energy efficiency sector. Large infrastructure projects such as wind parks often lead to irregular investment paths. In terms of employment, qualification strategies require continuous development or they become inefficient and lead to disappointment among the well-qualified workforce. The second column of the Tunisian Solar Plan (Plan Solaire Tunisien – PST), energy efficiency, requires sensibilisation strategies for households, enterprises and services. The long-term benefits of energy-efficient appliances must be explained to consumers. Energy consulting, labelling and campaigning to advertise energy efficiency are the minimum requirements necessary for a successful promotion of energy efficiency. Future gains from energy efficiency will also depend on the pricing system. Increasing energy efficiency and capacities of renewable energy to a 30% share of electricity generation as well as increasing solar water heaters to 700 MW will have a positive effect on the economy. GDP will increase by almost 0.4% and investment will be 1.4% higher than in the reference case. Although imports will increase, the overall effects will be positive, with exports increasing by 0.1% and employment by 0.2%.


Download of the study " Promotion of Renewable Energies and Energy Efficiency in Tunisia - Employment, Qualification and Economic Effects":

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Renewable energy and energy efficiency in Tunisia GIZ 2012.pdf Promotion of Renewable Energies and Energy Efficiency in Tunisia - Employment, Qualification and Economic Effects

Énergie renouvelable et efficacité énergétique en Tunisie : emploi, qualification et effets économiques

Further Information


This article was originally published by GIZ Projet ER2E. It is mainly based on experiences, lessons learned and information gathered by GIZ within the Study "Renewable energy and energy efficiency in Tunisia - employment, qualification and economic effects".

  1. Repubic of Tunisia Ministry of Industry and Technology - The Tunisian Solar Plan: http://www.jccme.or.jp/english/jaef2_overview/meeting/session1/02_s1.pdf
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Renewable energy and energy efficiency in Tunisia – employment, qualification and economic effects (GIZ): https://energypedia.info/images/8/85/EN_Renewable_energy_and_energy_efficiency_in_Tunisia_GIZ_2012.pdf
  3. Tunisian Dinar: 1 TND = 0,49 EUR (october 2012)