Unconventional Energy: The Controversy

Oleh: M. Kukuh Al Rasyid (Geofisika ’15)

Discovered in babylonian peninsula before the century, oil and gas energy had been leading us into hopes and despairs throughout millenniums. Indeed, the development of the industries it self shows a significant yet satisfying accession. It nonetheless left several world problems such as poverty, war, and enviromental degradation. Thus makes geoscientists nowaday begin to develop an unconventional solution that is regarded more suistanable and efficient. However, the big question is, will the unconventional energy development left us problem that is as harmful as the conventional one?

On August 1859, George Bissell,  person who made the first successful use of a drilling rig, seemed not knowing that his act would left bad impacts for human being.  If we contemplate a litlle bit more, unconventional energy developmentmay be repeats Georges fault for the second time. In 2006, USA shale gas production were increasing rapidly so that makes their gas price fell down from 13 $/mmbtu to nearly 3 $/mmbtu by 2012. If USA keep developed their unconventional energy to the point where their gas prices is much cheaper than gas production cost in other countries, other countries must have import their gas needs from USA. Furthermore, other countries currencies will drop toward dollar as they increase USA import. This condition will also weaken global economy that ends up with domestic growth moderation and national income deflation. In addition, although shale gas industry gives really high profit, many countries do not want to invest since its high production cost does not guaranteethe success of the production. Thus makes geopolitical imbalance where countries that are ready to take the risk is the one who monopolize shale gas industry.

Not only might affects world geopolitic, but the development of unconventional energy would may also disturbs indonesian social and economic balance. Locating in the ring of fire, Indonesia blessed with an enormous geothermal potential. Imagine, if by the time you read this essay geothermal energy had been the most wanted and developed energy, other nation most probably will have overtaken our geothermal resources by the fact that Indonesia only used 4 – 7% of their geothermal potential whereas the world have known that indonesia keeps 40% of world geothermal resources. More ironicly, we might have been worked by other nation for our national wealth since other nation can pay indonesian labors relatively cheaper as rupiahs value is lower than dollar. In additon, Indonesia has wonderful biodiversity, conservation areas are spread up across the country. On the contrary, the amount of land use required by geothermal power plant is quiet spacious and usually take place on the conservation areas such as national park and protection forest. Thus surely makes an enviromental issues among the society that may be end up in social instability.

No rose without thorn. At least it is the best proverb that describes our whole case. Although unconventional energy may have side effect towards human being, it is indeed the best solution for now. The possibilities of having a bad impacts are not used to be afraid of but used it as a challenge in order to reach our best instead.



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