A partnership working to promote solar-powered electric vessels in Tunisia and in the MENA region was awarded the $1-million 2016 Energy Grant from the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affair (UN-DESA). The project “Solar Fueled Electric Maritime Mobility” is by SINTEF, an independent non-profit research institute based in Norway.
The project is aimed at demonstrating the feasibility and the social, economic and environmental benefits of solar-fueled electric boat transport in Tunisia and the wider region. It is implementing this demonstration project with the National Agency for Energy Conservation of Tunisia.
SINTEF will use the grant to develop technology for a traditional ferry or other vessel with a plug-in hybrid electric powertrain, and to construct an electric charging point. It will help also support data collection and analysis. Selection of the vessel in Tunisia to be used for the demonstration will be decided in the first phase of the project.
The project aims to generate the data and evidence needed to replicate sustainable transport in the MENA region. It seeks to demonstrate the benefits of low cost electric vessels as key transport between coastal cities in the region, with a view to encouraging other stakeholders to implement such transport on a larger scale. The project will contribute to the avoidance of transport related greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution, and it will help to prevent and reduce marine pollution.
Furthermore, the project will conduct capacity development workshops for Tunisian and other regional stakeholders, the preparation of a Tunisian Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) to be submitted to the UNFCCC portal, as well as public outreach activities to spread knowledge of this low-cost, sustainable transport solution.
Source: Alternative Energy Africa