hydroelectric dam Sia Kambou/AFP/Getty Images

Energi, Ekonomi dan Lingkungan Hidup

LONDON – Untuk mencapai masa depan yang rendah karbon dan mulai mengatasi tantangan perubahan iklim, dunia ini memerlukan lebih banyak investasi terhadap energi terbarukan. Jadi bagaimana kita mencapai hal tersebut? Tidak ada sistem produksi energi yang sempurna, dan bahkan proyek energi yang “ramah lingkungan”, karena dampak geografis mereka, harus dikelola dengan hati-hati untuk memitigasi “bentangan energi” dan dampak hal tersebut terhadap daratan, sungai dan laut.

Pembangkit listrik tenaga air memberikan salah satu contoh paling jelas tentang bagaimana lokasi infrastruktur energi terbarukan bisa mempunyai efek samping. Tenaga listrik yang dihasilkan oleh bendungan air adalah sumber tenaga terbarukan yang paling besar di dunia, dimana hal ini menghasilkan energi dua kali lebih besar dibandingkan total seluruh sumber tenaga terbarukan yang ada. Bahkan dengan perluasan proyek pembangkit listrik tenaga surya dan angin, kebanyakan perkiraan berasumsi bahwa untuk memenuhi tujuan mitigasi perubahan iklim akan membutuhkan sedikitnya 50% peningkatan kapasitas pembangkit listrik tenaga air pada tahun 2040.

Meskipun terdapat manfaat dari pembakit listrik tenaga air, terdapat konsekuensi ekonomi dan ekologi yang harus dipertimbangkan setiap kali sebuah bendungan dibangun. Misalnya saja, pembatas yang menghalangi aliran air sangat menggangu perikanan air tawar. Lebih dari enam juta ton ikan di panen setiap tahun dari daerah badan sungai yang diproyeksikan akan diubah menjadi bendungan. Tanpa perencanaan yang baik, proyek-proyek ini bisa membahayakan sumber makanan dan pendapatan lebih dari 100 juta orang.

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