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Eye on Africa: Sharlissa Moore, "For a Radiant Morocco"
Thursday, 26 Sep 2019
12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Room 201, International Center
Event Details:

Sharlissa Moore is an Assistant Professor of International Energy Policy in James Madison College. Her teaching and research interests focus on the social, policy, equity, and security dimensions of energy systems, particularly those that cross nation-state borders and are undergoing dramatic change. Solving global energy challenges will require deep interdisciplinary collaboration. Thus, Sharlissa collaborates closely with civil and environmental engineers at MSU to study emerging energy technologies. She studies the social and policy issues associated with where renewable energy generation facilities are located, the integration of electricity grids across nation-state borders, and the adoption of new energy technologies, such as battery storage and electric vehicles. Her book on Morocco's solar energy plan and its relationship to energy transitions in the European Union, called "Sustainable Energy Transformations, Power, and Politics: Morocco and the Mediterranean," was published in the fall of 2018 in the Routledge Studies in Energy Transitions book series.

Morocco is a leader among lower-middle income countries in climate change mitigation. The Morocco government recently completed the world's largest solar power plant, and it seeks to reach 52% of its electricity capacity from renewable energy by 2030. These ambitious climate mitigation goals are not solely technological. Rather, they are intertwined with a vision for renewable energy as part of national pride that combines a historical sense of national identity with a vision for a desirable future. This talk describes how the Moroccan government's renewable energy ambitions are interwoven with addressing socioeconomic challenges, including building energy for industrialization, achieving energy security, securing foreign direct investment, growing jobs, improving educational outcomes, and developing a national research and development policy. Near Midelt, the Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy (MASEN) is breaking ground on a second large-scale solar power plant and a utility-scale wind facility. Midelt is an apple farming community that is suffering from drought and an overall lack of resilience after the closure of mines. The second half of this talk discusses the need for socially sustainable development in the Midelt region. While MASEN seeks to establish a new paradigm for large-scale development that achieves local benefit, this massive development could shock the region. The talk compares nation-scale energy objectives to the objectives of farmers' in the region seeking to bolster the environmental and social sustainability of apple farming.