Just recently, I attended a talk given by Professor Shibani Chaudhury on the use of biogas and solar energy in providing electricity to villages in India. This talk was very captivating because I could relate to the circumstances of not having electricity and the impact that situation can have on a person’s wellbeing. This is because, for the first few years of my childhood, I was raised in a village in Pakistan where electricity was only available during certain hours of the day or, sometimes, not at all. As a result, it was hard to sleep at night during the hot summer nights when we didn’t have the luxary of using a fan or an air conditioner because those appliances would require electricity. Not having power also means not being able to have warm water, or being able to refrigerate produce that would otherwise go bad. These are only some of the challenges that I can recall as a child, but it does not encompass the difficulties that adults experience in the households or in hospitals, schools, markets, etc.
In this lecture, Professor Shibani Chaudhury talked about using invasive species to create biogas that would be used to power a generator. The generator would then be given to villages that would allow them to have electricity. She also mentioned that solar energy panels were used to provide power to the two villages that were involved in this project. As a result of Professor Shibani and her team’s effort, 12 households were supplied with light bulbs, alongside a elementary school. They also added a fan in the school in order to improve the wellbeing of children because the school is also used as clinic, 3 times a week.
I really admire the objective of this project because not only are villagers being provided with electricity using renewable energy, which is not harmful to the
environment, but it also involves the slow elimination of invasive species that are threatening the ponds near these villages. As a result, there is a balance between meeting the needs of the villagers without having to disrupt the Earth’s atmosphere through pollution via burning coals, and taking care of the environment. In the future, I would like to see this project extend to other villages in India and to other countries as well. And I also wonder if the invasive species in Canada could be eradicated by using them to make biogas which could provide us with electricity in an environmentally-friendly way.