Development of small-scale irrigation pumping by renewable energies (DPPIER)

Following the completion of the study made in the context of the cooperation between GNESD and MEDREC concerning pumping water, MEDREC has proposed, in cooperation with ANME, to undertake more advanced study on wind and solar pumping for small farmlands that integrates all necessary actions for the sustainable development of wind and photovoltaic technology for small-scale irrigation in the purpose to change the scale of these technologies’ diffusion. 

This study pointed out the following topics:

  • Preparation of a techno-economic study comparing the technologies used or available for different capacities and concentrations (electric, diesel, wind, and photovoltaic pumping) in Tunisia.
  • Designing a funding mechanism to support renewable energy technologies to shortlist, and procedures for their implementations.
  • Proposal for major pilot projects using renewable energy for water pumping, according to objective criteria.
  • Techno-economic evaluation of the pilot project to shortlist: technologies, investment, maintenance costs, cost per m3 of water.
  • Proposition of  communication actions towards stakeholders and design of a program of training and certification of installers and maintenance operators


The research resulted on drawing conclusions about the competitiveness of various pumping technologies (conventional and renewable energy) summarized as follow:

  • Wind energy is more competitive than photovoltaic energy especially for power exceeding 2 kW (This comparison refers only to generators not accessories) in terms of investment for power suitable for small individual irrigation.
  • The cost of the kW (settled) by the wind energy is much cheaper than the photovoltaic (with a rate of 0, 35).
  • Pumping with diesel oil is not competitive any more even in the current conditions
  • Pumping using conventional MV network of STEG remains competitive until 2011.
  • Only the wind pumping becomes the most competitive even with regard to the network, from 2012.
  • Hybrid pumping is the solution to achieve a good level of satisfaction
  • A pumping system using only wind energy satisfy properly the wanted load (11 kWh/d equivalent to 30 m3of water per day) only with a source of power exceeding widely this load. That inflates the investment and the solution becomes economically impractical.
  • Hybrid systems PV-Wind associated with a diesel are a great stage for thermal installations which have not reached the end of their life: they are economically profitable.
  • Hybrid systems PV-Wind associated with hydraulics storage tank perform well.
  • The hybrid PV-Wind has a satisfaction rate and an acceptable cost of KWh which deserves to be investigated (creating and testing a prototype)
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