Sustainable Development

The DESERTEC Foundation has established a set of sustainability principles for CSP projects, including environmental, economic and social criteria, based on a review with solar energy experts such as the German DLR institute. Based on these principles, a team of experts has reviewed the TuNur project development work, and has confirmed that TuNur is in compliance with the DESERTEC principles.

Environmental Responsibility

Support the fight against desertification


  • The TuNur project will be built with barriers against local sand storms, thus aiding the local stabilization of the soil
  • The site is part of a larger part of desert land that is currently unused economically. The project respects the environment of the site and uses a low impact technology minimizing transformation of local environment. For example the heliostats of the solar field are secured on steel screws instead of concrete anchors. The project will be built with barriers against local sand storms, thus aiding the local stabilization of the soil

Minimizing water consumption

  • Dry-cooling of the power blocks lowers water consumption by 90% compared to other cooling systems; it is estimated that TuNur will consume the equivalent water amount of ca. 60ha of date plantations in the region (there are over 2000ha of date palm trees)
  • TuNur is currently analysing non-conventional water sources, recycling unused/discharged water from local palm tree plantations further minimizing the demand on local water sources.

Local Economy

TuNur seriously considers the potential socio-economic impacts and benefits of the project to Tunisia. For a 2GW project up to 60% of the total value-add could be generated locally. TuNur conducted a study in collaboration with Comete Engineering (Tunis) to identify the areas of value-add for Tunisia throughout the supply chain and life of the project:

  • Specialist Work - Using local partners and management for project development as well as local engineering firms for geo technical and socio impact assessments and feasibility assessment of site
  • New Manufacturing Industries – e.g. Heliostats – hundreds of thousands flat-plate mirrors, motors and steel structures are needed for the 2GW project and can be manufactured locally
  • Job Creation during Construction and Operation – ca. 6 years of construction where over 2000 direct jobs will be created, with a further 20,000 jobs created indirectly across the whole supply chain and during operation
  • Opportunity for R&D – New technology sector offers multiple routes for new research and development and establishing a new industrial base in Tunisia
  • Future tax revenues - for local governments