On August 18th 2020, Rosatom Central and Southern Africa took part in an exclusive webinar on the topic “Energy Transition in a Hydrocarbon Dependent African Economy”. The first Energy Leader’s Dialogue series on Energy Transition, the high-level panel shared their experience on the challenges to sustainable growth of the LPG, Solar and Nuclear energy industries in sub-Saharan Africa and possible solutions.
Energy sustainability is not just an opportunity to transform societies and grow economies, it is also a necessity – a prerequisite to meet Africa’s growing energy demand and to reduce the global carbon footprint in accordance with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The most pressing issue of the global energy agenda is solving the energy trilemma: in order to build a strong basis for prosperity and competitiveness, individual countries must find a balance between energy affordability, energy security and environmental sustainability in their respective energy mixes.
According to Ryan Collyer, Acting CEO of Rosatom Central and Southern Africa out of all sources of electricity, nuclear is one of very few that are currently capable of ticking all three boxes.
“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,” Mr Collyer noted.
He went on to highlight the vital importance for the nuclear industry to dispel the myths that it commonly faces. “The myth that nuclear is unsafe for example is simply untrue. Statistically nuclear is the safest form of energy production known to man. From 1971 – 2009 the nuclear industry actually saved over 1.8 million lives through the prevention of harmful pollutants, should that power have been produced with hydrocarbons,” highlighted Mr Collyer.
In his closing remarks, Mr Collyer called for an open and equal debate on different energy sources on the continent and noted that an energy mix made up of various sources is vitally important. He noted that generation sources should not be fighting over which source is best for the continent but rather working together to empower the continent and its people through access to affordable and clean energy.
“The ideal future energy mix for Africa is nuclear accompanied 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 Mr Collyer.
ROSATOM is the only company in the world that has the resources and competencies to offer energy solutions across the nuclear supply chain. It possesses a wide range of assets, including assets in design, construction and operation of nuclear power stations, uranium Rosatommining, conversion and enrichment, supply of nuclear fuel, decommissioning, spent fuel storage and transportation and safe nuclear waste disposal. Rosatom is also engaged in the production of equipment and isotope products for the needs of nuclear medicine, scientific research, and materials science, the production of digital and of various nuclear and non-nuclear innovative products. The company’s strategy is to develop low-carbon power generation projects, including in the wind generation field. Today the company brings together over 300 enterprises and organizations and over 250,000 employees.
The 75th anniversary of the Russian nuclear industry
The year 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the Russian nuclear industry. Russia has always been a pioneer in the peaceful use of atomic energy. In 1954, Russian scientists launched the first nuclear power station, and today Rosatom already has three units with the latest 3+ generation reactors. Over three quarters of a century thanks to the Russian nuclear industry nuclear units have appeared in many foreign countries, and today Rosatom is the leader in terms of the size of its foreign portfolio. Rosatom has the world’s only nuclear icebreaker fleet, the most powerful fast neutron reactor; it contributes to digitalization as well as nuclear medicine.