By Prince Osuagwu
RUSSIAN State Nuclear Energy Corporation, Rosatom, has once again advised Nigeria to adopt a sustainable energy mix approach to its power system if it must achieve energy stability like Russia.
Rosatom’s Regional Vice-President of Sub-Saharan Africa, Viktor Polikarpov, at an annual powering Africa investors’ summit held in Abuja, recently, shared his country’s energy sector best practices with participants of the event, insisting that the optimum energy mix for Nigeria was the way forward.
Also 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 between USD 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, Polikarpov, noted that 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.
Current energy challenge
He said: “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,”
Polikarpov also added that investing in nuclear projects stimulates national and regional cash flows toward the budget that often surpasses direct investments by a significant margin. Construction of NPPs 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.