Projects / PROSOL Tertiary

After the success of PROSOL Residential program, the Tunisian government launched in 2009, TSP #3, a program for the development of solar thermal use in the tertiary sector to implement approximately 30,000 m² of collectors during the period 2010-2016 with a budget of 1 million euro mainly for hotels; known that the solar energy could cover 70% of the hotel needs (heating water, cooling and heating); and aiming to:

  • Fivefold the part of renewable energy in national energy consumption by the year 2014
  • Start executing the Tunisian solar plan that spans the period 2010 - 2016 and consists of 40 additional renewable energy projects and energy efficiency with a total investment of 2,000 million Euros with 1.39 billion of Euros financed by the private sector. This plan is part of similar international projects including the Mediterranean Solar Plan.

ANME as the team leader, the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, the STEG, the Tunisian Company of Bank (STB) as national members and MEDREC, UNEP-DTIE, and IMELS as International Partners were involved in this program.

The funding mechanism implemented in the PROSOL program was applied following the overview diagnosis of the situation which reveals that the lack of bonuses granted by the National Fund for Energy Conservation (20% of the investment with a ceiling of 100 USD / m²) and the burden of the initial investments require the need to increase the level of subsidy to boost this niche. The initial proposal of the financial mechanism developed in 2006 jointly by UNEP and the ANME is to give tangible and intangible premiums:


  • A grant of 50% (technical and economic feasibility, design, support, and control) with an upper limit of 5000 DT on the resources of Italian funds through UNEP
  • A grant of 30% of the investment cost with a maximum of 150 DT / m² from FNME resources
  • A surcharge of 10% with a maximum of 50 DT / m² from Italian funds resources through UNEP
  • Subsidy costs of maintenance over 4 years regardless of the year warranty
  • A bonus of 2 points in the interest rate on loans granted by commercial banks to the benefit of hoteliers.


  • Approvals of eligibility granted to 17 consulting firms, 03 branches of engineering controls, and 9 collective installation companies
  • 56 hotels have adhered to the Tertiary PROSOL program (signed agreements)
  • Completing 134 plants with a total collecting area of 2434 m2 since the project started with 1980 m2 in 2010.
  • 13 solar installations are already completed corresponding to a total area of approximately 1,833 m² with 480 m2 in 2010.

MEDREC supported the technical assistance for the development of documents (PIN, PDD) and for registration of CDM projects for PROSOL Tertiary as well as PROSOL ELEC, based on the Memorandum of Understanding.

With the revolution that occurred in Tunisia on the 14th of January 2011, the tertiary sector, especially tourism, was one of the sectors most touched with the crisis and the stakeholders were not in the conditions of supporting the implementation of PROSOL Tertiary, and therefore achieved rates not matching the set up goals. Other conditions affected the implementation:

  • Technology:
    • Large forced circulation SWH local market is not mature, this resulting in insufficient scale economies and higher investments costs.
  • Upfront costs:
    • According to Decree 362/09 of GoT, incentives are calculated with a cost cap of 500 DT/m2, while actual cost of forced circulation systems is around 800 DT/m2,this resulting in a real CC subsidy of around 27% instead of 40%
    • Difficult access to tailored credit: the lack of Energy State Utility (STEG) involvment results in no security for banks against risk of nonpayment, in a sector already over-indebted and in crisis for monetary liquidity.
  • Policy:
    • Natural gas is over-subsidized by GoT (>50%), this resulting in very long payback time for SWH investments (10 years and more)

The need of changes in the program was urgent and compulsory for the achievement of the objectives, hence, since 1st June 2012, a new mechanism was implemented to overcome the barriers mentioned above and consists in:

  • An FNME (National Fund for Energy Conservation) bonus of 70% of the total cost of studies and control capped at 70 000 DT.
  • A bonus with a till of 55% of the total cost of the investment capped at 300 DT/m². (30% FNME and 25% UNEP)
  • A UNEP bonus of the maintenance costs of 6 DT/m², 4 years after the first year of warranty
  • A UNEP bonus of 2 points in the credits interest rates

And in parallel, the mechanism is in function of the installed surface and divided as follow:

  • Installed surface inferior at 15 m2 : 30% bonus from FNME
  • Installed surface between 15 m2 and 30 m2 : 30% FNME bonus and 10% UNEP bonus
  • Installed surface superior at 30 m2: (centralized) 30% FNME bonus and 25% UNEP bonus

By 2013, we achieved the following results:

Signed agreements Realised installations Realised installations by m2 Total collecting area by m2






PROSOL Tertiary is under registration on a programmatic CDM with PIN-PDD elaboration supported by UNEP and MEDREC. The validation has been supported by MEDREC.


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