Genesis Morocco: Genesis Morocco at the 2012 International Leadership Visitor Program in the U.S.

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Genesis Morocco

Project Genesis is a strategic sustainable development framework for Morocco to translate from being a net importer of energy and a country facing water shortage issues, into the number one producer both of clean renewable energy and water in the region.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012    <<Home

Genesis Morocco at the 2012 International Leadership Visitor Program in the U.S.

Here is a summary describing the project.

This multi-regional project for officials of ministries of environment and energy, local government officials, representatives of non-governmental organizations, academics, and journalists will explore emerging U.S. policies on climate change through discussions of various advances in renewable energy sources, markets, research and innovation. Participants will learn how the U.S. has historically met energy demands as well as recent pressures that have led to greater diversification and reliance on alternative energy. The interests and perspectives of government, industry and consumer groups will be examined within the wider debate to change energy use patterns in U.S. society.

Personal Notes : It is my great pleasure to announce my participation in the U.S. from August 13 to August 31 to the 2012 ILVP edition geared towards RE.  

I have to say that I am quite humbled at being the guest of the U.S State Department,  I am also convinced that this participation makes a lot of sense in the regard of the important and commendable efforts Morocco has engaged in the field of RE. 

This quite unique energy re-conversion from fossil fuels that is going forward is unprecedented for a developing nation, which only underlines both the scope of this effort and the leading role of Morocco in its region and indeed in the world in the fight against global warming, but also more essentially at becoming an energy efficient economy.

Sustainable development cannot materialize without addressing this crucial efficiency question, and we are well on our way to do just that with our 42% target of RE in our energy mix by 2020. 

What is stopping us from going for the remaining 33% ? Well sky truly is the limit, and that is why this journey with Genesis Morocco since 2006 has proved to be a fascinating and challenging one, because we might actually if we play our cards right be given someday in example as an country that succeeded in its energy reconversion and attained efficiency against many odds. It is my ambition that we beat the rest of the world to it. And we just might.

The remaining 25% of our energy mix to arrive at the full figure will undoubtedly come from sources such as coal and nuclear, which are necessary to stabilize the grids base load especially more so when the main source is variable.

In Europe some are already seeing how it is possible to couple many sources of RE such as solar, wind and wave power in order to obtain a more stable yield. Will it materialize in Morocco as well ? Well like I said, sky truly is the limit and these are indeed exiting times.  

Here follows the program in details.

Project Goals:  The project is designed to:  review U.S. energy policies and stances at the federal, state and municipal levels including trends in energy production and distribution, alternative and renewable energy approaches, and related topics; examine public-private partnerships for the development of clean energy and alternative fuel solutions and new technologies being introduced by the alternative fuel industry; and examine U.S. efforts in promoting international cooperation to expand the availability of alternative sources of energy, reducing global dependence on oil, and helping meet the growing energy demands of modern life.

Project Itinerary:

A.  Washington, D.C.:  August 11 - 18, 2012

Themes: Introduction to the U.S. federal system;  U.S. energy policy; Federal government policies and coordination on energy and climate matters; Impacts of the non-profit sector on renewable energy policy

The DC program will begin with a guided city tour of Washington, DC landmarks and institutions. The tour is a companion meeting to more in-depth discussion of federalist principles that will be addressed during the federalism briefing.  A leading national renewable energy expert will provide a comprehensive, introductory keynote briefing and assessment of the current American energy policy landscape and the current state of clean energy industries and technologies in the U.S.  At the U.S. Department of Energy, participants will gain insight into current strategies and approaches to moving the U.S. away from fossil fuel dependence and ensuring the its renewable energy capacity.

A meeting will be arranged with staff from the U.S. Global Change Research program (USGRP) to discuss federal intra-agency cooperation on climate change and how program research impacts federal policy formulation, particularly renewable energy.  The Division for Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) within the U.S. State Department's Office of International Energy and Commodity Policy represents the United States and prepares U.S. positions, with the Department of Energy, for all International Energy Agency meetings.  ENR staff will host a meeting to discuss the U.S.' role and efforts to promote renewable energy technology globally.  U.S. participation in the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) will also be addressed.

Participants will meet with United States Agency for International Development (USAID) staff to discuss development and implementation of programs that seek to help countries reduce their overall carbon emissions and address climate change through clean energy and energy efficiency projects. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) will participate in a meeting to discuss ways in which the agency provides policy and research leadership in promoting GHG reduction strategies and alternative fuels in the transportation sector. The U.S. House of Representative's Subcommittee on Energy and Power has jurisdiction over national energy policy.  Subcommittee staff will host a meeting to provide insight into current Congressional priorities and challenges vis--vis clean energy legislation, particularly in an election year.  A guided tour of the U.S. Capitol will be included in conjunction with this meeting.

The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI), a non-profit organization that advances innovative policy solutions will introduce their education and outreach activities, as well as provide a non-governmental perspective on the current climate in Congress vis--vis renewable energy.  The core mission of the Center for Strategic and International Studies' (CSIS) Energy and National Security Program is to offer tools that will provide policymakers with a thoughtful framework to stimulate the right mix of investments and international engagement on global energy and climate challenges.  Staff will address CSIS' current energy policy recommendations; offer perspectives on the U.S.' role in promoting clean energy in the global arena; and more broadly, provide insight into the role and impact of think tanks on American policymaking.

At the Energy Future Coalition, a meeting will focus on the organization's policy approaches and some of the primary areas of agreement and contention among the many stakeholders involved in and impacted by renewable energy policy. At the Renewable Energy Markets Association (REMA), a trade association dedicated to maintaining and growing strong markets for renewable energy in the U.S., staff will host a meeting to discuss REMA's policy advocacy strategies and priorities, and issues currently of greatest concern to its constituency.  The Coalition for Green Capital (CGC) also advocates for tax and finance policies that support investment in energy efficiency and clean energy.  Participants will meet with staff to discuss the critical issue of financing for clean energy projects and CGC's recommendations regarding how to incorporate low-cost, long-term finance as a pillar of eventual renewable energy policy legislation.

B.  Team City Splits:  August 18 - 22, 2012
Cities:  Miami, Florida; Orlando, Florida; Tampa, Florida

Themes: Ocean and wave energy research and applications; Converting organic materials into energy; Waste-to-energy conversion; Promoting energy efficiency and sustainability through the built environment

In Miami, Florida Atlantic University's Center for Ocean Energy Technology (COET) is building the capability, infrastructure, expertise and strategic partnerships needed to develop, test and deploy commercially-viable ocean energy systems to assist the nation in managing its energy crisis with the development of an environmentally responsible commercial marine energy industry.   A meeting will focus on the development of ocean energy technologies in the Florida Straits and the Gulf Stream, and the significance of federal backing of COET's work.  Florida Crystals is a leading sugar producer and the U.S.' first fully integrated cane sugar company.

The company's Cogenerational Plant, the largest renewable energy facility of its kind in North America and one of the largest in the world, uses its own crops and local urban wood waste as fuel to generate renewable electricity.  Plant staff will host a meeting to provide some context regarding Florida's biomass industry, more broadly, and Florida Crystals' own energy production efforts within this context. Florida International University's Applied Research Center (ARC) has responded to the global shift toward increased energy security and climate protection by spearheading technology development in biomass conversion to fuels and power, algal fuels, and deployment of renewable energy systems.  This meeting will focus on ARC's algal fuels research within the broader context of algae technology development nation-wide, and address the commercial viability of algae as a renewable energy source.

Miami-Dade County Resources Recovery Facility (RRF) is a waste-to-energy plant located in northwest Miami-Dade County. Power generated at the facility is sold to a private company and supplied to the electrical grid.  RRF staff will hold a meeting to discuss operations and technology and provide a tour of the facility. The Spinnaker Group helps to build better, smarter, easier to operate and more cost effective building for a diverse range of clients.  Their staff will lead a tour of one of their LEED-certified buildings and discuss its energy-saving and sustainable design features.

In Orlando, the program chair of the College of Engineering Department of Marine and Environmental Systems at Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) has been working closely with Clean and Green Enterprises, a clean energy company with proprietary technology for harnessing electricity from ocean waves, to develop a test model for their Wing-Wave system.  Dr. Wood will meet with participants to provide an overview of the range of ocean energy research currently being conducted; discuss his ocean energy work and research; and share perspectives on the commercial viability of ocean energy. Materials Recycling of Orlando is focused on sales of agricultural biogenic fuels, including woody biomass for use as boiler fuel and cellulosic feedstock, and liquid agricultural fuels.  Staff will host a meeting to provide an introduction to current state of Florida's biomass industry; the company's current operations and services; and perspectives on how their growth potential as a small energy producer will be impacted by future federal energy policies.  A tour of the facility will be included.

Parabel provides renewable technology and solutions to address the global demand for new sources of feed, food and fuel. The company has developed unique proprietary technology for improving the yields of naturally occurring aquatic micro-crops to create products for agriculture and energy markets.  Staff will host a meeting to discuss Parabel's technology and products; local demand and global potential for algal biofuels; some of the challenges of commercialization.  A discussion with Sanford South Water Resource Center will focus on its work in utilizing gasification technology to convert its wastewater sludge into thermal energy. Orlando-based architecture firm C.T. Hsu and Associates uses a multidisciplinary approach that guarantees that every project exceeds expectations for quality and sustainability.  A meeting will be arranged to discuss LEED design features, the kind of energy efficiencies that they offer, and some of the firm's sustainable design projects.

In Tampa, Florida, SRI International, an independent, nonprofit research institute will ask staff to offer an overview of the range and scope of ocean energy research being conducted in the U.S.; their wave-powered generators; and prospects for ocean energy as a sustainable energy source. University of Southern Florida Polytechnic's (USFP) Alternative Energy Research Center (AERC) is USFP's focal point for all energy-related activities. A meeting will be arranged with the AERC director for a discussion of the  Florida biomass market; how research and developments at institutions like AERC impact Florida's biomass industry; and most current biomass research taking place at AERC.  Culturing Solutions is a company that designs and manufactures photobioreactors and other algae processing production tools. The company's revolutionary process takes waste gases emitted by industry that would normally contribute to air pollution and climate change and
recycles the harmful greenhouse gas to dramatically increase the growth rate of the algae.  Participants will meet with the company's CEO and visit their demonstration site.

The Pinellas County Department of Solid Waste Operations' Waste-to-Energy (WTE) facility processes about one million tons of garbage every year. The process can produce up to 75 megawatts (MW) per hour of electricity, which is used to power the plant itself and is also sold to a local utility company for distribution within the community.  Staff will host a meeting and tour to introduce the facility's operations, technology and energy production.

C. Sacramento, California:  August 22 - 28, 2012

Themes: State level energy policies; Renewable vehicle fuel technologies; Smart grid technology; Role of clean energy incubators; Geothermal and solar energy

The three subgroups will reunite in Sacramento, California, where they will meet with staff from the California Energy Commission, the state's primary energy policy and planning agency.  This meeting will address California's 2011 Bioenergy Action Plan and landmark state legislation, including the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 and the California Alternative and Renewable Fuel, Vehicle Technology, Clean Air, and Carbon Reduction Act of 2007. California Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee is a standing committee of the California Senate with jurisdiction over bills relating to utilities, energy companies, alternative energy development and conservation, and communications development and technology.  A meeting will be arranged to discuss
recent and current state legislative priorities and concerns as they pertain to the development of renewable energy markets and technology.

The California Fuel Cell Partnership is a collaboration of organizations, including auto manufacturers, energy providers, government agencies and fuel cell technology companies, that work together to promote the commercialization of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. Staff will hold a meeting to provide an introduction to latest developments in hydrogen fuel cell technology and the current status of and future prospect for the hydrogen fuel cell market.  Pacific Ethanol is the largest West Coast-based marketer and producer of ethanol and a leader in producing and marketing low-carbon ethanol.  It is also working to identify and develop other renewable fuel technologies, such as cellulose-based ethanol production and bio-diesel.  This meeting will provide an industry perspective on the current state and evolution of the American ethanol industry; the company's operations; and how the company has been impacted by the enactment of California's new Low Carbon Fuel Standard.

The Geysers, comprising 45 square miles along the Sonoma and Lake County border, is the largest complex of geothermal power plants in the world.  Calpine, the largest geothermal power producer in the U.S., owns and operates 15 power plants at The Geysers.  A meeting and tour of the facilities will be arranged for participants to gain insight into geothermal energy production in the U.S., including some of the primary advantages and disadvantages of this form of energy.

Solar Power Integrators is focused on providing photovoltaic solar electric solutions to government and public building projects nationwide.  A meeting will provide an overview of the solar industry in California, including current trends, challenges and opportunities.  A visit to a solar panel field will be included. The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), is implementing an advanced operating system for its distribution system, which will automate portions of its system with the goal of delivering energy savings through increased efficiencies.  This meeting will provide an introduction to California's "de-coupling" policy and how it has altered electric utility operations in the state and latest developments in smart grid technology. Sacramento Area Regional Technology Alliance (SARTA) is the nexus that links technology leaders, entrepreneurs, investors, service providers, community organizations, and educational institutions. SARTA's CleanStart program was specifically designed to stimulate the development and success of early stage clean technology companies and to build a regional clean tech cluster.  Participants will meet with staff to discuss the role and impact of clean energy incubators in the development of successful clean tech companies.

D.  Denver, Colorado:  August 28 - September 1, 2012

Themes:  Federal government research on renewable energy and climate change; University-based energy research; Wind energy markets, production and technology; Project evaluation

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), located in Golden, Colorado, is the only national laboratory solely dedicated to advancing renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies from concept to commercial application.  In addition to an overview of NREL, staff from the Solar Energy Research Facility will lead a discussion regarding NREL's solar energy research and testing on photovoltaics and solar thermal systems.  At the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Earth System Research Laboratory (ESRL) in Boulder, Colorado, a meeting will be arranged to discuss latest climate change research initiatives and findings, as well as future plans to collaborate with NREL on atmospheric science research that can expedite renewable energy development. At Colorado State University, Engines and Energy Conversion Laboratory (EECL), staff will discuss strategies, approaches and challenges to integrating cutting-edge research with industry know-how to accelerate the transfer of renewable energy technologies into the marketplace.

The Colorado Center for Biorefining and Biofuels (C2B2) is a cooperative research and educational center devoted to the conversion of biomass to fuels and other products.  A meeting will focus on education and training for C2B2 students and address how the curriculum is enhanced though industry partnerships. Vestas-American Wind Technology is the North American arm of Vestas Wind Systems, the world's largest manufacturer of wind turbines.  A discussion will highlight the company's U.S. operations and focus on the American and global wind energy markets, including trends, challenges and forecasts. Xcel Energy's Ponnequin Wind Farm is Colorado's first commercial wind farm.  Engineering staff will discuss the facility's operations; major factors that influence the selection of its location; operational costs and challenges; and common public concerns expressed about wind farms.  State Department and MCID staff will meet with participants at the conclusion of the program for an oral program evaluation.

6.  A participant list to date follows:

Approved Candidates:

ALGERIA:  Ali SOKHAL:  Director of Business Development, Energy Algeria (NEAL), Algiers, Algeria;

AUSTRALIA:  Heather BRODIE:  Chief Executive Officer, Biofuels Association of Australia;

AUSTRIA:  Elfreide-Anna MORE:  Head, Dept. of International Environmental Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture, Environment, Forestry and Water Management, Vienna;

BANGLEDESH:  Ahmed KHAN:  Executive Engineer, Directorate of Renewable Energy, Power Dev. Board;

ETHIOPIA:  Wossenu WELDEKIROS: Director, Alternative Energy Technology Promotion and Dissemination Directorate, Ministry of Water and Energy;

GREECE:  Zafeiroula DIMADAMA:  Director General, International Center for Black Sea Studies;

HONG KONG, SAR:  Fung TSANG:  Assistant Director, Environmental Protection Department, Hong Kong SAR Government ;

KENYA:  Felix OMONYA:  Science Secretary, Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology's National Council for Science and Technology;

MAURITIUS:  Mahomed MAHOMED:  Chairman of Steering Committee on Maurice Ile Durable (Sustainable Development);

MEXICO:  William JENSEN DIAZ:  Head of Dept. for North America, Direction-General for International Affairs, Secretariat of Energy;

MONGOLIA:  Bayannasan SAINBILEG:  Scientific Secretary, Institute of Physics and Technology,Mongolian Academy of Sciences;

MOROCCO:  Nabil EL AID EL OTHMANI: Information Services Analyst;

NEPAL:  Anjila MANANDHAR:  Coordinator, Clean Air Network Nepal;

PHILIPPINES:  Lawrence ANG: Climate Change Program Manager DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION;

SOUTH AFRICA:  Siziwe KHANYILE:  Campaign Manager, Air Quality, Climate and Energy, Friends of the Earth South Africa;

THAILAND:  Mongkol PRONGIUNTUEK:  Senior Engineer, Bureau of Biofuel Development, Department of Alternative Development and Efficiency;

TUNISIA:  Walid HAMADA: Associate Professor at the National Agronomic Institute of Tunisia;

TUNISIA:  Mohamed Mongri BEN YAICHE:  Engineer at the Ministry of Industry and Technology;

UNITED KINGDOM:  Stephen ALLEN:  Scientific Adviser - Energy ,
Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, UK Parliament;

UZBEKISTAN:  Irina GILFANOVA:  General Director, "SSP Astraia
Managment" Ltd;

UZBEKISTAN:  Andrey MALEEV:  System administrator, Center for the
Development of Multimedia General Education Programs;

VIETNAM:  Vu TRUONG:  Scientific specialist, Science Administration
Division, HCMC Department of Science and Technology;

VIETNAM:  Minh NGUYEN: Official, Department of Science, Education,
Natural Resources, and Environment; Ministry of Planning and

Genesis Morocco :

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