Russian State Nuclear Energy Corporation Rosatom recently shared its best practices with participants of the annual Powering Africa investors’ summit held in Abuja, Nigeria.
During a panel discussion on the optimum future energy mix for Nigeria, experts from across the globe discussed various options to close the country’s current power deficit. Recent estimates from the International Energy Agency indicate that more than 115 million people in Nigeria still rely on traditional biomass and waste as their main sources of energy. With the country currently spending roughly $14 Billion on off-grid diesel generation, it is abundantly clear that the country needs to diversify its mix.
During the discussion Rosatom Regional Vice-President of Sub-Saharan Africa, Viktor Polikarpov noted that in order for Nigeria to achieve a balanced energy mix, the country should consider all available sustainable sources of energy. Solar, wind, hydro and nuclear power complement and reinforce each other to form a green square, which will essentially become the base for the world’s future carbon-free energy mix.
“One needs to consider the so-called energy trilemma when planning an energy mix, this entails balancing economics, security of supply and environmental impact. Only nuclear energy is capable of ticking all three boxes and is able to balance any energy mix. In order to combat the current energy challenge faced by Nigeria, the region needs access to affordable and clean baseload power,” said Polikarpov.
Polikarpov went on to note that investing in nuclear projects stimulates national and regional cash flows toward the budget that often surpass direct investments by a significant margin. Construction of NPP’s also creates demand for thousands of locally sourced skilled labour, such as; welders, pipefitters, masons, carpenters, millwrights, sheet metal workers, electricians, ironworkers, heavy equipment operators and insulators, as well as engineers, project managers and construction supervisors.
“Nuclear energy is a clean, sustainable and affordable energy source that has the potential to positively transform not only the Nigerian energy sector but also its economy”, concluded Polikarpov.
Powering Africa was attended by high profile government officials from across the continent as well as by representatives from global energy companies and organizations.