The focus on tackling the electricity supply deficiency in Sub-Saharan Africa has been on renewable energy over the last decade. In particular, the potential of solar and wind energy has been most loudly heralded as the solutions for the hundreds of millions of Africans without access to any electricity. The ability to use innovative, off-grid delivery systems with better energy storage technology without the need for fossil fuels, has been an almost irresistible narrative for most of us.
And yet, it’s never been that simple. There are still limitations to renewable energy today if we’re hoping or expecting African countries to urbanize and industrialize at scale.
An article in the latest edition of Issues in Science and Technologyargues nuclear energy should be given serious consideration by African governments and points out that at least 11 African countries already do. South Africa is the only one that already operates a commercial nuclear plant, but others including Algeria, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda and Zambia are at different stages of preparation.
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