Experts at the ongoing Water Africa and West Africa Building and Construction Exhibition and Seminars have urged Federal Government to consider the adoption of small hydropower technology to improve power generation in Nigeria.
They maintained that since the focus of generating bulk power to be fed into the national grid had not improved electricity supply, the government could consider the technology, which is a safe and cost-effective means, where rural dwellers and small and medium enterprise could thrive.
The experts, Adekola Ogundayo and Marvin Agwoko of the Department of Dams and Reservoir Operations made the submission during a paper presentation on “Small hydropower projects: An outlook for improving power generation from existing dams in the Nigerian economy.”
According to them, all the hydrological zones in the country are blessed with rivers, streams or run-off waters, which are suitable for small hydro-power schemes, adding that investigations have shown that majority of small rivers could be re-channeled to have appreciable water heads to generate hydro-electric power.
However, they lamented that despite the handover of the nation’s electricity assets to the private sector and the high hopes of increased power generation, six months after, there was yet to be a reasonable increase in the power supply.
The experts maintained that to record remarkable progress, the power sector must advance a policy to ensure programmes align in the direction of global trends, adding that consideration must include sociological perspectives for domestic consumption, commercial purpose, industrial or rural, urban or remote places.
They said in view of the country’s population of 170 million people, it would require about 53,125MW of electricity monthly, adding that the 5,000MW available was grossly inadequate and there was an urgent need for interventionist measures in the sector to fill the gap.
They said that over 143 small and medium large dams in various parts of the country could provide heads to accommodate more efficient and cost-effective technological devices for mini to small hydropower development which could aggregate to more than 1,102MW.