Small nuclear offers a realistic African energy solution

re posted from                           ESI-AFRICA

Op-ed: Small nuclear offers a realistic African energy solution

By Dr Kelvin Kemm, a nuclear physicist and Convenor of the Stratek Nuclear Consortium

Worldwide we have witnessed intense energy discussion over the last couple of years. This has been compounded by a number of significant energy failures in various countries; a major systems failure in South Australia; an Ice Storm in Texas; gas supply issues in Europe…and the list continues.

If we pause for a moment to look back in time, a rather startling reality that emerges is that world electricity consumption has doubled over the last approximately 25 years. Only 25 years! However, we hear a cacophony of extreme-green groups calling for a reduction in electricity use. But electrification is not only rapidly spreading across the globe, the per capita electricity consumption is also increasing. It is totally reasonable to expect such a trend. Bitcoin mining alone is now consuming more electricity than Austria, Chile, or Belgium.

Can one honestly imagine that world electricity consumption will reduce in the future? All realistic indications appear to project that consumption will continue rising on the current curve. So consumption should at least double in the next 25 years. For the African region, one can expect that the increased consumption will occur even more rapidly than that.

Disturbingly, we see emotional, rather unrealistic energy debates taking place at meetings of such groups like the G7; COP26; and more. We hear of appeals to ‘flatten’ the consumption curve. A significant snag is that this all seems to be very Eurocentric in origin.

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