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New International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) publication on climate change and nuclear power highlights Africa’s potential

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  Ministers and government officials from several African countries discussed the potential of nuclear power to support sustainable development and the transition to clean and reliable energy as the IAEA launched a new publication on climate change and nuclear power at a side event during the 66th IAEA General Conference This day The event Supporting the energy transition in Africa presented the 2022 edition of Climate Change and Nuclear Energy which is updated every two years and provides a wealth of technical information and data on the benefits of nuclear energy to contribute to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 This year s publication features a chapter on nuclear power in Africa on which IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi held an extensive discussion with representatives from Egypt Ghana Kenya and South Africa at today s event Everywhere I listen to this global conversation about energy security climate change and nuclear power and whether it s due to changing circumstances climate or security needs it s pretty clear that nuclear power now has a place in the table Grossi said What I like about this discussion is that there is no discussion without Africa Africans have told themselves we need to contribute and we need our own specific analysis of how this nuclear jewel will be used for African economies According to the new publication around 600 million people and 10 million small businesses in Africa do not have a reliable source of electricity and increasingly connection to a national grid is no guarantee of electricity supply Blackouts are becoming more frequent and in sub Saharan Africa the World Bank reports that nearly 80 percent of businesses experience blackouts Meanwhile Africa s energy demand is increasing twice as fast as the global average largely driven by urban population growth In this context several African countries are exploring the possibility of adding nuclear power to its energy mix and Egypt recently began construction on its first nuclear power plant The only nuclear operator on the continent with two reactors totaling almost 2 000 MWe is considering the long term operation of the Koeberg nuclear power plant and the expansion of its nuclear power programme Egypt the host of the upcoming UN climate summit or COP27 in November recently broke ground on the first of four 1 200 MWe reactors it plans to build at El Dabaa on the Mediterranean coast Egypt opted for nuclear power because it provides a constant source of energy that lasts for decades said Mohamed H El Molla Egypt s Resident Representative to the IAEA Through its Milestone Approach the IAEA supports some 30 countries in Africa and around the world called new nuclear countries in their efforts to develop the infrastructure necessary for a safe secure and sustainable nuclear power programme Ghana has been working with the Agency for a number of years including an IAEA led Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review INIR mission in 2017 Ghana is looking to introduce nuclear power to provide the necessary diversity of baseload to ensure the energy security for our future demands said Kwaku Afriyie Minister of Environment Science Technology and Innovation of Ghana Our hydroelectric potential is almost exhausted so our interest in nuclear energy is to make sure we have energy for our transition and development While 40 percent of Ghana s energy comes from hydropower it accounts for 17 percent of all electricity generation in Africa and rising according to the International Energy Agency IEA In countries such as Uganda Zambia and Malawi the share of hydroelectric generation exceeds 80 percent Hydropower is low carbon and goes a long way toward meeting net zero emissions commitments but as weather patterns change so does the availability and reliability of water supplies And Africa is particularly vulnerable to these changes The IEA predicts that in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Morocco Zambia and Zimbabwe climate change will cause a significant decrease in hydropower capacity by the end of the century Many other nations will experience unpredictable fluctuations in their hydroelectric supply If electricity demand continues to grow and climate change causes less hydropower production countries will be able to secure baseload electricity only through fossil fuel sources or nuclear power But according to the World Bank the public finances of developing African countries have worsened amid the COVID pandemic leaving many unable to finance large infrastructure projects on their own That means international funding will be vital said Henri Paillere Chief of the IAEA s Economic Studies and Planning Section which produces the biannual publication Establishing special economic zones with tailored economic regulations built around reliable local infrastructure would be one way to attract foreign investment Such zones could then serve as clean energy hubs that would benefit surrounding communities and act as catalysts for energy transitions on a national scale New technologies such as small modular reactors SMRs with lower start up costs and easier financing than traditional reactors may provide an option and better suit the small power grids found in many African countries participants heard As countries in Africa consider or embark on nuclear power Mr Grossi emphasized that they would have the Agency s full support The IAEA will be with you every step of the way he said
New International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) publication on climate change and nuclear power highlights Africa’s potential

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IAEA General Conference

Ministers and government officials from several African countries discussed the potential of nuclear power to support sustainable development and the transition to clean and reliable energy as the IAEA launched a new publication on climate change and nuclear power at a side event during the 66th IAEA General Conference.

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This day.

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The event, “Supporting the energy transition in Africa”, presented the 2022 edition of Climate Change and Nuclear Energy, which is updated every two years and provides a wealth of technical information and data on the benefits of nuclear energy to contribute to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

This year’s publication features a chapter on nuclear power in Africa, on which IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi held an extensive discussion with representatives from Egypt, Ghana, Kenya and South Africa at today’s event.

“Everywhere I listen to this global conversation about energy security, climate change and nuclear power, and whether it’s due to changing circumstances, climate or security needs, it’s pretty clear that nuclear power now has a place in the table,” Grossi said.

“What I like about this discussion is that there is no discussion without Africa.

Africans have told themselves […] ‘we need to contribute, and we need our own specific analysis of how this nuclear jewel will be used for African economies.'” According to the new publication, around 600 million people and 10 million small businesses in Africa do not have a reliable source of electricity , and increasingly, connection to a national grid is no guarantee of electricity supply Blackouts are becoming more frequent, and in sub-Saharan Africa, the World Bank reports that nearly 80 percent of businesses experience blackouts Meanwhile, Africa’s energy demand is increasing twice as fast as the global average, largely driven by urban population growth.In this context, several African countries are exploring the possibility of adding nuclear power to its energy mix, and Egypt recently began construction on its first nuclear power plant.

The only nuclear operator on the continent with two reactors totaling almost 2,000 MWe, is considering the long-term operation of the Koeberg nuclear power plant and the expansion of its nuclear power programme.

Egypt, the host of the upcoming UN climate summit, or COP27, in November, recently broke ground on the first of four 1,200 MWe reactors it plans to build at El-Dabaa on the Mediterranean coast.

“Egypt opted for nuclear power because it provides a constant source of energy that lasts for decades,” said Mohamed H.

El Molla, Egypt’s Resident Representative to the IAEA.

Through its Milestone Approach, the IAEA supports some 30 countries in Africa and around the world called new nuclear countries in their efforts to develop the infrastructure necessary for a safe, secure and sustainable nuclear power programme.

Ghana has been working with the Agency for a number of years, including an IAEA-led Integrated Nuclear Infrastructure Review (INIR) mission in 2017.

“Ghana is looking to introduce nuclear power to provide the necessary diversity of baseload to ensure the energy security for our future demands.

”, said Kwaku Afriyie, Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation of Ghana.

“Our hydroelectric potential is almost exhausted, so our interest in nuclear energy is to make sure we have energy for our transition and development.”

While 40 percent of Ghana’s energy comes from hydropower, it accounts for 17 percent of all electricity generation in Africa and rising, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).

In countries such as Uganda, Zambia, and Malawi, the share of hydroelectric generation exceeds 80 percent.

Hydropower is low-carbon and goes a long way toward meeting net-zero emissions commitments, but as weather patterns change, so does the availability and reliability of water supplies.

And Africa is particularly vulnerable to these changes.

The IEA predicts that in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Morocco, Zambia and Zimbabwe, climate change will cause a significant decrease in hydropower capacity by the end of the century.

Many other nations will experience unpredictable fluctuations in their hydroelectric supply.

If electricity demand continues to grow and climate change causes less hydropower production, countries will be able to secure baseload electricity only through fossil fuel sources or nuclear power.

But according to the World Bank, the public finances of developing African countries have worsened amid the COVID pandemic, leaving many unable to finance large infrastructure projects on their own.

“That means international funding will be vital,” said Henri Paillere, Chief of the IAEA’s Economic Studies and Planning Section, which produces the biannual publication.

“Establishing special economic zones with tailored economic regulations built around reliable local infrastructure would be one way to attract foreign investment.

Such zones could then serve as clean energy hubs that would benefit surrounding communities and act as catalysts for energy transitions on a national scale.” New technologies, such as small modular reactors (SMRs), with lower start-up costs and easier financing than traditional reactors, may provide an option and better suit the small power grids found in many African countries, participants heard.

As countries in Africa consider or embark on nuclear power, Mr. Grossi emphasized that they would have the Agency’s full support.

“The IAEA will be with you every step of the way,” he said.

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