Renewable energy is derived from natural processes that are replenished constantly. In its various forms, it derives directly from the sun, or from heat generated deep within the earth. Included in the definition is electricity and heat generated from solar, wind, ocean, hydropower, biomass, geothermal resources, and biofuels and hydrogen derived from renewable resources. Considering Political problems and Economic growth and Development of the Country, The Nuclear Power Plant should be the most appropriate for Nigeria.
Due to the factors above, and concentrating on the abundance of Natural Resources of the Country (presence of Natural water bodies), I’ll recommend for Nigeria, the Hydropower as source of energy. This is due to the fact that construction of newer Dams in specific locations with higher Water bodies will bring about job opportunity, Encouragement of Agriculture (in the area of irrigation), Fish rearing amongst others. And also, low cost of maintenance, compared to nuclear power Plants.
HOW TO GENERATE HYDROPOWER ENERGY
Hydro-electricity, or hydro-power, is usually generated by turbines in a dam in a river. The dam means that a great body of water builds up in the river valley behind the dam. This is released through the turbines when electricity is needed. Smaller than dams are barrages across the mouths of rivers which capture water from high tides and release it to generate electricity. Smaller still are turbines in river and tidal streams which do the same thing.
MODE OF OPERATION
According to Wood and Wollenberg (1996) and Batut and Renaud (1992), the complexity of hydropower plant operation is so high that so far there are no unique principles devised for their management that could be applicable in all situations.
The reasons for that are:
The inflow of water into hydropower plants depends upon a series of parameters that are difficult to forecast, so the plants have to adapt quickly to the actual situation, Water is a resource that is not used only for electricity generation, but also for water supply, melioration and other purposes, Hydropower plant operation is coupled with numerous limitations related to the environmental protection, valuable objects in the vicinity of the storages and Watercourses etc. The role of hydropower plants in the electricity generation and transmission system often dictates their dynamic operation (relatively frequent starts and shutdowns of their operation).
The main source of uncertainty in planning of development of an electricity generation and Transmission system is the stochastic nature of availability of the units in thermal-power plants, as well as the water inflow into hydropower plants. The value of 95% is assumed as the limit for the probability of the fulfillment of the demanded electricity generation plan, because the design of an electricity generation and transmission system that would have the probability of fulfillment of electricity generation plan equal to 100%, would be economically unjustified, (Milić, 2000). The greatest influence upon the fulfillment of the electricity generation plan has the usable discharge of the water flow, while the key factors regarding the fulfillment of the Demands related to power are rated discharge, head and, particularly, the size of the hydropower plant storage.
Hydropower plants also have a great significance regarding the attaining of a stable operation of the electricity generation and transmission system. This is valid particularly for the formation of the operating reserve (covering of all non-planned ceases of electricity generation in the system before the start of the cold reserve) and a part of the cold reserve (covering of longer non-planned ceases of operation of the thermal-power plant units) in the system.
•Does not depend on costs of uranium, oil, or other fuels
•Pollution is rarely created
•It doesn’t require as many employees
•It can be set up in many sizes
•Stations can operate and run for long periods of time
•Reduces greenhouse emissions
•Relatively low maintenance costs
•Can be used throughout the world
•It is renewable
•Hydroelectricity produces no gas emissions or waste.
•Hydroelectric stations are inexpensive to operate.
•Makes barely any pollution compare to other ways of creating electricity
•Hydroelectric power is one of the most responsive (easy to start and stop) of any electric power generating source.
•The conversion of the forces of water to electric energy can be up to 90 percent efficient.
•Hydroelectric power produces no chemical or waste heat pollution.
•Hydroelectric power plants require little maintenance.
•Reservoir lakes can be used for recreation, and can provide considerable flood protection to downstream areas.
•Groundwater reserves are increased by recharging from reservoirs.
•Plants usually have an expected life span two to three times longer than conventional thermal power plants.
•Hydroelectric installations can be used to breed fish and other aquatic products
•It is more reliable than solar and wind power – because water can be stored and there is more of it, more often. Once a dam is constructed, electricity can be produced at constant rate. •If electricity is not needed, the sluice gates can be shut, stopping electricity generation. The water can be saved for use another time when electricity demand is high. The build up of water in the lake means that energy can be stored until needed, when the water is released to produce electricity.
•Dams are designed to last many decades and so can contribute to the generation of electricity for many years / decades.
•The lake that forms behind the dam can be used for water sports and leisure / pleasure activities. Often large dams become tourist attractions in their own right.
•The lake’s water can be used for irrigation purposes.
•When in use, electricity produced by dam systems do not produce green house gases. They do not pollute the atmosphere.
•High investment costs
•Dependent on precipitation
•Sometimes messes up wildlife
•Loss of fish species
•Change in river or stream quality
•Cost for construction
•Hydroelectric power production require flooding of entire valleys and scenic areas.
•Disrupts natural seasonal changes in he river, and ecosystems can be destroyed.
•Ends flooding that help to clean out the silt in rivers, causing them to clog (Energy Laboratory).
•The silt that usually flows down to the Beaches and Estuaries is block by the dam.
•Studies show that the plant decay caused downstream of major dams produces as many greenhouse gasses as more conventional methods of producing electricity.
•Dams are expensive to build, and due to drought may become useless, or produce much less power than originally planned.
•A dam being build in Quebec will end up flooding an area as large as Switzerland (Energy Laboratory).
•Dams can break in a massive flash flood
•Construction costs of large-scale hydroelectric projects are high. •Damming rivers causes changes in ecological cycles and surrounding landscapes; self-regulating ecosystems are changed into ones that must be managed. •Sedimentation can progressively curtail a dam’s ability to store water and generate energy. •There are a limited number of feasible sites for large dams. •Damming can cause loss of land suitable for agriculture and recreation. •Drought can affect power production.
•River channels downstream from dams are more susceptible to erosion. •A disadvantage of hydroelectric power stations is that it destroys wildlife and habitats of any creatures living in the area. •Dams are extremely expensive to build and must be built to a very high standard. •The high cost of dam construction means that they must operate for many decades to become profitable. •The flooding of large areas of land means that the natural environment is destroyed. •People living in villages and towns that are in the valley to be flooded, must move out. This means that they lose their farms and businesses. In some countries, people are forcibly removed so that hydro-power schemes can go ahead. •The building of large dams can cause serious geological damage. For example, the building of the Hoover Dam in the USA triggered a number of earth quakes and has depressed the earth’s surface at its location.
•Although modern planning and design of dams is good, in the past old dams have been known to be breached (the dam gives under the weight of water in the lake). This has led to deaths and flooding. •Dams built blocking the progress of a river in one country usually means that the water supply from the same river in the following country is out of their control. This can lead to serious problems between neighboring countries. •Building a large dam alters the natural water table level. E.g., the building of the Aswan Dam in Egypt has altered the level of the water table. This is slowly leading to damage of many of its ancient monuments as salts and destructive minerals are deposited in the stone work from ‘rising damp’ caused by the changing water table level.
•Hydropower dams can damage the surrounding environment and alter the quality of the water by creating low dissolved oxygen levels, which impacts fish and the surrounding ecosystems. They also take up a great deal of space and can impose on animal, plant, and even human environments. •Fish populations can be impacted if fish cannot migrate upstream past impoundment dams to spawning grounds or if they cannot migrate downstream to the ocean. Upstream fish passage can be aided using fish ladders or elevators, or by trapping and hauling the fish upstream by truck. Downstream fish passage is aided by diverting fish from turbine intakes using screens or racks or even underwater lights and sounds, and by maintaining a minimum spill flow past the turbine.
Hydropower as a renewable Energy, which can be built and also comes with a low level of maintenance and with the presence of water bodies as a Natural resource of Nigeria, it is advisable to have more and encourage construction of Dams for Hydropower Energy.