hoover dam Manav Gupta/Flickr

Apakah kekurangan energi benar terjadi?

MARTIGNY, SWISS – Apabila kita mampu menyimpan dan memanfaatkan energi dari cahaya matahari yang menyinari bumi selama dua menit saja, energi tersebut cukup untuk menjalankan kendaraan, menerangi dan menghangatkan gedung, dan memenuhi seluruh kebutuhan listrik kita selama satu tahun. Singkatnya, kita umat manusia tidak sedang menghadapi kekurangan energi. Kita justru menghadapi tantangan teknis dalam menyimpan energi dan menyalurkannya kepada konsumen, dan salah satu cara paling efisien untuk mengatasi kesulitan tersebut ialah berinvestasi pada teknologi penyimpanan energi yang lebih baik.

Beberapa permasalahan di dunia saat ini mungkin berasal dari penggunaan energi, mulai dari konflik karena pasokan minyak dan kekhawatiran akan emisi gas rumah kaca, hingga hilangnya produktivitas dan output yang diakibatkan oleh kekurangan atau pemadaman listrik. Di sejumlah kawasan termiskin di dunia, kekurangan energi melumpuhkan pembangunan ekonomi. Secara global, lebih dari 1,3 miliar penduduk dunia tidak memiliki akses terhadap listrik; dan sekitar 2,6 miliar penduduk tidak mampu mengakses alat memasak modern. Lebih dari 95% diantaranya berada di Sub-Sahara Afrika atau kawasan berkembang di Asia dan 84% tinggal di wilayah pedesaan.

Pada awal pemilihan presiden di Nigeria belakangan ini, seorang wanita ditanya harapannya atas apa yang harus dipenuhi calon presiden. Satu kata jawabnya: “Penerangan”. Listrik, sebagai komoditas dasar, memungkinkan ia terus bekerja dan anak-anaknya pun bisa belajar.

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