RJIM MAATOUG - Importing the Saharan sun to supply Europe with clean and low-cost energy : this is the dream that European countries have been entertaining with certain players in the private energy sector for decades. Once buried, projects to export solar energy from the North African deserts to European shores are now resurfacing. 

However, in a context of energy crisis, the old continent seeks to diversify its supply sources at all costs and to accelerate the transition to cheaper and cleaner renewable energy. However, Europe does not intend to produce all its green energy needs on its territory and keeps a very close eye on the solar potential of its North African neighbors. To date, several projects of solar megawatts are under development, with the intention of exporting the electricity to Europe, via submarine cables. 
In Tunisia, this project is called TuNur, a Tunisian-British company whose ambition is to "provide low-cost electricity to 2 million European homes", with the construction of a mega solar power plant in the southern desert of the country. This investigation reveals that in addition to presenting a major risk for local resources, including water, in a country suffering from major water stress, this project raises many doubts about its contribution at the local level. 

This investigation has been shortlisted for True Story awards 2024.


Team members

Aida Delpuech

Aïda Delpuech is a freelance journalist based in Tunis, passionate about ecology.

Aida Delpuech

Arianna Poletti

Arianna Poletti is a freelance journalist based in Tunisia.

Arianna Poletti
€9.950 allocated on 17/05/2022

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