Egypt’s military intends to acquire 11 nuclear power plants. This comes soon after press reported that government officials expressed concern about a potential radiation leak at the Anshas nuclear power plant just outside Cairo.
Though the Egyptian Atomic Energy Authority (EAEA) dismissed those reports, the ruined Fukushima nuclear reactors in Japan has inspired certain countries to drop their nuclear ambitions. Egyptian environmentalists are working to get Egypt to do the same by diverting authorities’ attention to the country’s vast solar and wind resources.
Arguments for solar
At a recent seminar in Cairo, officials openly discussed the country’s nuclear energy program. Environmentalists present provided alternative solutions to the country’s burgeoning energy demands.
Leading environmentalist Suheir Mansour assured seminar attendees that Egypt’s solar potential is not exaggerated and that joining or supporting the Desertec initiative that aims to export renewable energy from the MENA region to Europe via subsea cables could be far more cost effective (not to mention safer) than adopting 11 nuclear reactors.
And algae, and wind
She added that Egypt also has the space and capacity to generate energy from algae.
In their presentation called “The Future of Solar Energy in Egypt,” other speakers emphasized that winds blowing off the Gulf of Suez could produce 20,000 MW of electricity. This alone could surpass the energy generated by 11 1,000 MW reactors.
No more pie in the sky
Mussa Naji, also an environmental activist, pointed out that importing the technology to develop solar and wind energy would be easier than doing the same for a nuclear program. And she noted that training local Egyptians to operate renewable plants would be less complicated.
With such compelling arguments in the public sphere, renewable energy in Egypt no longer looks like a pie in the sky. Pop over to World Tribune for more details.
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image via John Lester