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A nuclear-powered North Africa: Just a desert mirage or is there something on the horizon?

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  • Jewell, Jessica

Abstract

All of the North African countries have plans to develop nuclear power. If successful, nuclear energy could supply up to 9-15% of all electricity consumption in the region by 2030. How realistic are these plans and under what conditions can they be implemented? This paper seeks to answer this question by analyzing the motivations and capacities for deploying nuclear energy in the five North African countries by examining both regional and national factors. These factors are compared to similar characteristics of the countries with existing nuclear power programs using a series of quantitative indicators. While all five countries have strong motivations to develop nuclear power, which result from the high growth rates in demand for electricity and energy security concerns, their financial and institutional capacities to deploy nuclear energy vary and are generally lower than in those countries which already operate nuclear power plants. Most likely, North Africa will need to rely on external assistance to implement its nuclear energy plans. The article identifies three scenarios of nuclear power development from the interplay between internal and external factors, particularly the success of renewable energy projects and the ability to attract international investment in nuclear power.

Suggested Citation

  • Jewell, Jessica, 2011. "A nuclear-powered North Africa: Just a desert mirage or is there something on the horizon?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(8), pages 4445-4457, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:39:y:2011:i:8:p:4445-4457
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Adamantiades, A. & Kessides, I., 2009. "Nuclear power for sustainable development: Current status and future prospects," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 5149-5166, December.
    2. D. Finon & F. Roques, 2008. "Financing Arrangements and Industrial Organisation for New Nuclear Build in Electricity Markets," Competition and Regulation in Network Industries, Intersentia, vol. 9(3), pages 247-282, September.
    3. Stirling, Andrew, 1994. "Diversity and ignorance in electricity supply investment : Addressing the solution rather than the problem," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 195-216, March.
    4. Nuttall, W.J. & Taylor, S, 2008. "Financing the Nuclear Renaissance," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0829, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    5. Harding, Jim, 2007. "Economics of Nuclear Power and Proliferation Risks in a Carbon-Constrained World," The Electricity Journal, Elsevier, vol. 20(10), pages 65-76, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Takako Kimura, 2012. "Nuclear Energy in Asia: Safety Post-Fukushima," Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series gd12-234, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    2. Griffiths, Steven, 2017. "A review and assessment of energy policy in the Middle East and North Africa region," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 249-269.

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