Nuclear has a place in Africa’s energy mix
Nuclear has a place in Africa’s Energy Mix and could help Africa address its energy blight. According to Rosatom Regional Vice President for Sub-Saharan Africa, Viktor Polikarpov, Africa must not ignore the potential of nuclear energy. Polikarpov highlighted the importance of a balanced energy mix while speaking during a panel discussion at the 2018 African Energy Indaba , in Johannesburg, South Africa.
“In order to stimulate the economy, you need reliable and affordable power. The current lack of electricity is a major hurdle for African nations when it comes to achieving their full economic potential,” noted Polikarpov.
Polikarpov highlighted that every African nation which is concerned about its energy future naturally tries to utilize its natural resources at hand first; coal, gas, hydro, solar, geothermal etc.
This is completely justifiable as the need for power should be tapped as soon as possible. However, when identifying the ideal energy mix for Africa, numerous factors need to be taken into account.
“For this one must consider the so-called energy trilemma. Every well balanced and sustainable energy mix should ideally meet the following requirements; cost efficiency, security of supply and environmental protection. Out of all sources of electricity only nuclear is currently capable of ticking all three boxes,” says Polikarpov.
Nuclear power is a cost-effective and reliable source of power that is always available. A modern nuclear power plant (NPP) is able to supply uninterrupted power for 60-80 years at a predictable and affordable price, which is not drastically effected by the volatility of the global commodity market. At the same time, nuclear energy is a key component of a clean and sustainable energy strategy, which emits no CO2 into atmosphere.
“The ideal future energy mix for Africa is nuclear backed up by renewables; hydro, solar and wind. This is how we can make the world green and at the same time deliver cost efficient electricity to Africa in a sustainable manner,” concluded Polikarpov.