PLTA Sebagai Pembangkit yang Ramah Lingkungan, Apakah Benar?

Lingkungan. Sumber : mongabay.co.id
  • Apakah PLTA Ramah Lingkungan?
  • Pembangunan PLTA Dapat Mengganggu Ekosistem Perairan Disekitarnya
  • Upaya Yang Dilakukan Dalam Mnghadapi Masalah Kerusakan Ekosistem Perairan

Potensi energi terbarukan di Indonesia termasuk energi air sangat besar, menurut pakar lingkungan. Hingga tahun 2023, berdasarkan data dari Kementerian Energi dan Sumber Daya Mineral (ESDM), kapasitas terpasang PLTA di Indonesia baru mencapai 6,7 GW, dari total kapasitas terpasang EBT sebesar 12,7 GW. APIK Indonesia Network, dan Iluni SIL UI, mengatakan, potensi energi hidro untuk PLTA di Indonesia mencapai 95 GW. Jumlah ini lebih rendah dibandingkan potensi surya yang mencapai 3.294 GW, namun lebih tinggi dari potensi bioenergi sebesar 57 GW, potensi bayu 155 GW, dan potensi panas bumi 23 GW.

Apakah PLTA Ramah Lingkungan?

Ilustrasi PLTA. Sumber : republika.id

Pembangkit Listrik Tenaga Air meskipun sumber energi terbarukan namun tidak netral iklim dan ramah lingkungan. Hasil ini berdasarkan studi internasional yang baru dari 13 ilmuwan. Bendungan dan waduk merusak biodiversitas dan hanya sedikit sumbangannya bagi perlindungan iklim. Bersamaan itu para ilmuwan menunjukan bahwa bendungan-bendungan berandil sedikit bagi perlindungan iklim karena hanya menghasilkan kurang dari 2% dari energi terbarukan yang dibutuhkan hingga 2050 untuk menahan kenaikan temperatur dunia di bawah 1,5 derajat Celcius.

Proyek PLTA juga dapat memberikan dampak negatif terhadap lingkungan dan keanekaragaman hayati. Pembangunan PLTA dapat menyebabkan perubahan pada ekosistem perairan akibat perubahan dari air yang mengalir menjadi habitat waduk buatan. Pembangunan PLTA juga dapat menyebabkan sungai mengering, perubahan aliran sungai, perubahan kualitas air, perubahan temperatur, erosi, dan sedimentasi. Adanya modifikasi habitat akibat pembangunan PLTA akan memberikan dampak yang signifikan terhadap flora dan fauna didalamnya. Modifikasi habitat yang terjadi akan mengganggu keseimbangan ekosistem yang disebut Environmental Flows.

Baca Juga



Pembangunan PLTA Dapat Mengganggu Ekosistem Perairan Disekitarnya

Ilustrasi Sungai. Sumber : mongabay.co.id

Rektor Institut Teknologi PLN, Iwa Garniwa menyoroti bahwa ada beberapa tantangan yang perlu diatasi. Iwa menyebutkan bahwa pengembangan PLTA memerlukan investasi besar dan dapat mengganggu ekosistem sungai atau danau di lokasi pembangunan bendungan air. Kendati demikian, ia menekankan bahwa pemanfaatan EBT seperti PLTA dapat mendorong pertumbuhan industri dengan skema Renewable Energy Based Industrial Development (REBID).

Bendungan dan waduk menggambarkan intervensi buruk yang besar bagi keseimbangan air dari sistem sungai. Secara ekologis habitat-habitat yang sangat penting akan lenyap dalam banjir dan beton. Pengangkutan bahan gizi dan sedimen jadi terputus. Vegetasi dan lumpur yang membusuk yang terendam di air menghasilkan emisi gas rumah kaca. Banyak waduk di wilayah tropis merupakan tempat berkembang biak berbagai patogen. 40 hingga 80 juta manusia telah diungsikan, banyak yang lainnya telah kehilangan wilayah menangkap ikan dan lahan pertanian.

Adanya pembangunan PLTA akan mengubah aliran air dan semua entitas dalam ekosistem tersebut. Environmental flows adalah kebutuhan jumlah dan kualitas air dalam suatu ekosistem air untuk mempertahankan fungsi ekologis, keanekaragaman hayati, dan kesehatan ekosistem. Environmental flows penting untuk memastikan bahwa pengelolaan sumber daya air dilakukan secara berkelanjutan dan menyeimbangkan kebutuhan manusia dan kebutuhan lingkungan. Dampak keberlanjutan dan keseimbangan ekosistem sangat tergantung pada bagaimana PLTA dirancang, dioperasikan, dan dikelola.

Environmental flows tidak hanya ditentukan oleh jumlah aliran air, tetapi juga kemampuannya dalam memenuhi pola aliran air alami (natural flow pattern). Natural flow pattern sangat penting bagi keseimbangan ekosistem dan keanekaragaman hayati di sungai. Pada saat air sungai meningkat, biota air seperti ikan dapat berkembang biak dan mencari makan. Sedangkan selama musim kemarau, air yang tersisa menjadi lebih dangkal dan suhu air meningkat, sehingga menjadi lingkungan yang ideal bagi tumbuhan dan hewan yang bergantung pada ekosistem sungai.

Baca Juga



Upaya yang Dilakukan dalam Menghadapi Masalah Kerusakan Ekosistem Perairan

Ilustrasi kosistem perairan yang rusak akibat PLTA. Sumber: ybkb.or.id

Pembangunan PLTA dapat mengubah pola aliran air sungai secara signifikan. PLTA seringkali memanipulasi debit air sungai untuk memenuhi kebutuhan produksi listrik. Dengan jumlah debit air yang sama, natural flow pattern akan tetap berubah. Hal ini dapat mengganggu keseimbangan ekosistem sungai dan menyebabkan kerusakan pada lingkungan hidup. Oleh karena itu, sangat penting untuk mempertimbangkan konsep environmental flows yang memadai dalam perencanaan dan operasi PLTA, untuk meminimalisir dampak yang merusak ekosistem sungai.

Bagi Konferensi Perlindungan Alam Dunia di bulan Oktober para ilmuwan menyerukan agar dipikirkan dengan matang antara kepentingan memperluas Pembangkit Listrik Tenaga Air dan melestarikan perairan yang utuh. Alternatifnya adalah hemat energi dan energi angin serta energi matahari. Alih-alih menghasilkan produksi listrik dengan maksimal, dampak pembangkit listrik harus diminimalisasikan dan harus dibuat langkah-langkah penyeimbangan biodiversitas.

Alternatif lainnya adalah dengan penanaman kembali hutan yang sudah digunduli demi pembangunan PLTA. Proyek penanaman pohon ini memberikan wacana baru bagi masyarakat setempat guna membantu proses reforestasi untuk melindungi hutan dan mengawasi pertumbuhan pohon melalui Geotags (pelabelan pohon dengan garis lintang dan garis bujur/koordinat lokasi yang tepat).

Ternyata dalam pembangunan pembangkit listrik yang mempunyai tujuan baik yaitu seperti mengurangi emisi karbon, menghentikan pemakaian bahan bakar fosil dan memajukan sumber energi di Indonesia masih terdapat beberapa resiko dan dampak yang buruk terhadap lingkungan. Oleh karena itu, kita makin tahu Indonesia masih perlu belajar dan memperbaiki sistem pembangunan pembangkit listrik khususnya yang menggunakan sumber energi air.

#zonaebt #EBTHeroes #sebarterbarukan

Editor: Bellinda Putri Hidayat

Referensi

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