Nigeria has recorded a large amount of rainfall this year. Leaving several communities flooded. Destroying properties and in some cases life. If this is normal or as a result of climate change, the experts are yet to tell us. But what we do know for sure is that some of the resulting floods are as a result of a lack of town planning and several other Nigerian made factors.
The internet holds a lot of information on several studies that postulate the generation of electricity from rainfall. Going through a few can make you begin to see the pool of water in front of my house as a goldmine and not an eye saw. In an era where priorities are leaning towards creating and utilizing of energy from unconventional sources. One can let imaginations run wild.
Apart from wind, turbine, solar, coal, gas etc what other resources are abound that can convert into wealth rather than waste. The aim of this article is not to suggest alternative energy sources but to think outside the box. Some tropical areas have both the dry and rainy seasons. During the rainy seasons, we collect and dispose of the rain that falls. Even though yes we cannot deny the benefit it has on nature. Have you ever wondered if that rainfall can be harvested and put to good use? We have drainage systems that collect and hold sewage until removal or bacterial decomposition. This is a huge source of biogas which can also be turned into electricity.
Yes, there are a lot of factors to consider and not to mention the huge capital involved but let’s think small scale. Three students from the Technological University of Mexico created a microturbine-based system. This is currently being used to generate electricity for use in low-income homes.
It uses the stream of rainwater runoff from houses’ rooftop rain gutters to spin a microturbine in a cylindrical housing. Electricity generated by that turbine is used to charge 12-volt batteries, which can, in turn, be used to power LED lamps or other small household appliances.
This got me thinking. Of how impracticable it can be if applied here in Nigeria. But I also thought of the different possibilities. in JABU a professor of Microbiology cooks with the gas generated from his sewage system. He uses a simple and makeshift setup that allows this.
Someone in JABU in Ondo state is cooking with the aid of waste from his house. Another in Mexico can power their bulbs with harvested rainwater. This begs to question if we are still stuck in the era of renewing ideas. The other day the minister of finance was complaining about the blockage placed by the UN which has made it close to impossible to access funds. Funds that would be used in generating electricity from coal. When the rest of the world is trying so hard to move onto renewable energy. Maybe we need to think of small ideas and build them the serve a greater purpose. Or maybe not.