Fission Energy for Across Africa – a Vision of 2050


A Land of Plenty

The African continent is a behemoth of people, resources and potential. The area of the combined 58 countries and regions is 1.8 times larger than Russia; 3 times larger than the European Union; and 84 times larger than Germany. The 1.3 billion people living in Africa (16% of the worlds’ population) have available to them a combined power generating capacity of ~230 GW. This equates to about 1,500 kWh per person per year in energy consumption.

A Billion More People

Over the next 30 years there will be another 1 billion new people born on the African continent. Africa will be the youngest and most dynamic region on earth. With global “peak child” happening in 2014 (a demonstrable fact) the number of children coming to the planet has plateaued and will remain that way for the foreseeable future as societies improve their living standards and reduce the size of families. This is also so in Africa, yet the population will grow no matter what. Furthermore, the African continent will hold more than 3 billion people by 2100.

And energy will be the prime enabler to provide those billions with a decent quality of life.

Improving Lifestyle means Increasing Energy Consumption

South Africa has the highest energy consumption per person, at 4,100 kWh per year. Yet this is still below the 5,500 kWh average across Europe. Further across the continent it is clear that some countries lack basic energy infrastructure to bring energy to their people.

Let’s assume that by 2050 the present average of 1,500 kWh per person per year increases to 3,000 kWh*. Thus the total energy generation capacity becomes almost 800 GW. Thus 570 GW of new power generating capacity is required to be built from now to 2050.

*This means a 50 MW ‘burner’ will produce the energy needed for about 150,000 people.

Sting on Nuclear energy
Sting on Nuclear energy

Avoiding the Renewables Trap

The Africa Renewable Energy Initiative planned to install 10 GW of wind and solar by 2020 (achieved) and 300 GW of wind and solar by 2030. But they are forgetting Germany’s failed 20 year experiment in wind and solar. In Germany, CO2 levels are unchanged and electricity prices have doubled. Now Germany is planning to restart coal fired power stations. The reason is simple. When considering all factors, wind and solar are simply not viable. This is best illustrated by the Energy Return on Investment ratio, or EROI. This bar chart is developed from the Berlin Institute for Solid-State Nuclear Physics (Institut für Festkörper-Kernphysik) and available on the Australian government’s nuclear scientist’s website. The Energy Return on Investment Ratio is a macro level indicator of the overall usefulness of the energy derived from any particular form. How many units of energy can be recovered for each unit of energy expended. The EROI of wind and solar (3.9 and 1.6 respectively) fails miserably when compared to coal (30), gas (28) and existing solid-fuel nuclear fission (75). But our focus is the literal purple elephant in the room – Molten Salt Fission Technology. It’s EROI is 2000 to 1! With such a significant obvious benefit, over all other forms of energy production, it is only a matter of time before the genie is out of the bottle.

Thus as the reality of low value return on wind and solar is realised, Molten Salt Technology (and other small modular reactors using traditional solid fuels) will gain traction to fill the growing requirements of Africa’s energy needs.

A New Paradigm of Industrial Growth

One can imagine a fleet of up to 5,000 small modular Molten Salt Fission machines each with a capacity of 100 MW installed strategically across Africa.  Creating a decentralised, distributed power generation system. Some sites will be larger or smaller than others, driven by  domestic electricity demands. With the power facilities having a fuelled lifespan exceeding 30 years, it is quite easy to see energy as no longer an issue across the African continent.

Integrated Industrial Zone Powered by Molten Salt courtesy of Figes
Integrated Industrial Zone Powered by Molten Salt courtesy of Figes

But it goes further. Whilst reliable 24/7 power from Molten Salt Fission machines provides ample energy for domestic needs, the technology supports industrial growth and development. 1 GW and larger power installations are able to drive industries reliant on both heat and power. Facilities of this size could lead to industrial parks such as the one here envisaged by government energy and industrial development planners in Turkey.

A Positive Future

Africa Blockchain

The people of Africa have a bright future ahead for them. With technologies tried and true from western spheres, the people of Africa can select and choose the most appropriate and most suitable means to improve their quality of life. For themselves and for their children. Molten Salt Fission energy technology is a strong contender for the energy mix of Africa.

CEO and Founder, Mr. Jeremiah Josey

Authored by Jeremiah Josey
Founder and CEO
The Thorium Network

Links and References

  1. African power generation
  2. Energy Consumption across Africa
  3. Hans Rosling, 2015, Why the world population won’t exceed 11 billion
  4.  IEA Africa Energy Outlook 2019
  5. African Renewable Energy Initiative
  7. Australian government nuclear science organisation

Australia needs to adopt Thorium Molten Salt Technology for energy production

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison

“Technology, not taxes is the Australian Way to reduce emissions while protecting our economy and living standards.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison pledging Net Zero by 2050

But Mr. Morrison, it’s not just about reducing CO2. It’s also about Australia being a world leader.

China and Russia are building small modular reactors for themselves and for export to third world countries. They’re lowering their own carbon emissions and those in other countries, whilst reducing fossil fuel pollution that is killing millions particularly children under 5 years and also saving more lives by enabling desalination for clean drinking water and growing food.

Australia exports uranium and coal and say we are good citizens, on the right track to the solution for global warming. We are not being good world citizens when we don’t look at the big picture but only our self-interest.

Small, modular, transportable, Thorium molten salt burners could be this new technology that our Australian Government is relying on to create jobs, reduce carbon emissions and win the next election.

“Small Modular Reactors are the Future. Since 1970, nuclear has saved 60,000 million tonnes of CO2 emissions. Nuclear could deliver net zero, if only it was allowed to. Nuclear power will also solve water supply problems in a scalable manner.” Paul Kristensen Western Australian Owner/Principle- PK Science Consulting, nuclear scientist, and advocate.

Paul Kristensen Western Australian Owner/Principle- PK Science Consulting, nuclear scientist, and advocate

CURRENTLY the Rare Earth Elements (REE) in our mineral sands, which contain Thorium and uranium, cannot be used due to provisions in the Australia’s Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. [AEP&BC Act] The Act is causing this potentially very valuable product to be disposed of as waste by unrecoverable burial.

Greg Sheridan, Foreign Editor, The Australian

“Only Australia, a true laggard and outlier, holds nuclear energy as illegal. In this, Australia is not just eccentric, but nuts.”
Greg Sheridan, Foreign Editor, The Weekend Australian 10/11 July 2021.

Thorium is now being researched by over 30 countries. China is already operating a prototype reactor and building a commercial reactor to supply energy for a desert city.

Thorium molten salt burners can:-
• provide safe, low-cost, carbon free, reliable base load energy replacing fossil fuels.
• desalinate water for drinking and growing food.
• use nuclear waste as fuel.
• transport a reactor by truck or barge in a container to where needed.
• produce much less waste which only needs storing for 300 years not thousands.
• use a small earth footprint unlike solar, wind and hydro.
• be rebooted after 60 years so do not have the expensive and difficult recycling of
wind and solar.
• be cooled without water so can be used in deserts.
• not blow up or easily used to make bombs
• be used to produce medical isotopes to save thousands of lives.

“Technology will have the answers to a decarbonised economy, particularly over time.” Scott Morrison

The Liberal goal is to create wealth and jobs in Australia and win the next elections both State and Federal in March 2022 and hopefully gain the respect of other countries.

Mrs Liz Penfold
Former public representative for Flinders, South Australia
Liz Penfold

Authored by Mrs Liz Penfold
Former public representative for Flinders, South Australia.
Undefeated in office from 1993 until retirement in 2010, with an approval rating always above 70%.
Adviser to The Thorium Network on Australian Political Affairs.
Liz on Wikipedia; Liz on Linkedin