The evolution of the Tunisian energy system in the next few decades will highly depend on the implementation of its Nationally Determined Contribution by 2030 and its potential long-term low-emission strategies. This study analyses the technology, emissions, energy systems and economic impacts of meeting Tunisia’s NDC targets (conditional and unconditional) and long-term transition pathways compatible with the Paris Agreement. Different climate policy targets and settings are explored using a detailed energy system model (MENA-EDS) that integrates detailed representations of energy demand and supply and their complex linkages through energy pricing. The analysis shows that in order to meet its NDC targets for 2030, current climate policies in Tunisia need substantial strengthening, based on the massive uptake of renewable energy technologies (especially solar PV and wind) and a reduction of oil and gas use. Long-term low-emission transitions leading to emission reductions of about 80% from baseline levels in 2050 is based on the further expansion of renewable energy within and beyond the electricity sector; the increased electrification of energy end-uses (especially through the uptake of electric vehicles in transport); accelerated energy efficiency improvements in transport, industries and buildings; and the emergence of low-carbon fuels. The study provides insights into the challenges to achieve the deep decarbonization of the Tunisian economy but also into the opportunities from energy sector-restructuring, including reduced energy import dependence and increased low-carbon investment.
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