Association Webinars: Multidimensional Challenges of Energy Justice: Finding Global Synergy in Energy System



As our society advances technologically, if we ignore and delay addressing energy access adequately, the socio-economic inequality gap will continue to widen. Therefore, it is imperative for the energy system, one of the most complex systems in our civilization, to join its forces toward the common objective of ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, efficient, and modern energy for all. Even though we are expected to take a leap of faith in the disposition of mankind, history has often demonstrated that pragmatic approaches in combination with jurisprudence have tendencies to lead to a more equitable and justly outcomes. Hence, it is not surprising that the subject of energy justice has entered academic and policy discourses around the world. Circumstances of energy poverty, where households cannot afford adequate amount of energy, are increasingly framed as issues of justice and connect political discourses on equity with debates on energy systems. It is clear that the future electricity generation mix of the power system will change, but the most equitable solution will be based on a country's starting point, and their goals. We need to develop more inclusive measures in areas of energy access where traditional metrics neglect to include everyone. However, energy justice concerns full spectrum of justice issues relating to energy and not just poverty alone. The essence of the webinar is to merge theory and practice on energy justice. We will explore how energy justice is applied and if it can result in gains in practice. We will examine the key components of energy justice and how they should be applied to projects where energy justice is at the core. We will tackle issues of energy justice around the world, including in the USA, Hong Kong, and Australia.

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Häly Laasme is the State of Delaware's Energy Assistance Director. She serves as the Northeast Regional Representative in the Board of Directors of the National Energy Assistance Director's Association (NEADA) for Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont. She also serves in the Board of Directors of the Energy Services Coalition (ESC) and in the Advisory Board of Directors of the National Energy and Utility Affordability Coalition (NEUAC). She has regularly voiced her concerns over the Energy Access and Affordability in the United States, including the C-SPAN/USEA Briefing in 2019 and the USAEE podcast in 2020. She successfully contested transparency of the methodology of the global Sustainable Development Indicators of Energy Access published by the Oxford University Global Data Lab that led to the following clarifications on their websites: "Countries considered as "developed" by the UN, and classified as high income are assumed to have an electrification rate of 100% from the first year the country entered the category." She holds a magna cum laude degree in Economics from Columbia University.


Sara Fuller is Senior Lecturer in the Discipline of Geography and Planning at Macquarie University, Australia. Her research explores concepts and practices of justice in the context of global environmental change, with an empirical focus on grassroots, community and activist responses to climate change. Prior to joining Macquarie University, she held postdoctoral positions at Durham University, UK and City University of Hong Kong where she conducted research on low carbon urban transitions and climate governance; NGO discourses of energy justice; low carbon communities and social justice; and energy vulnerability in communities. Her current projects focus on the politics and governance of urban climate justice across the Asia-Pacific region. Dr. Fuller is a Fellow at the Asian Energy Studies Centre, Hong Kong Baptist University and a Visiting Scholar at Fudan Tyndall Centre in Shanghai.

Raphael Heffron is Professor for Global Energy Law & Sustainability at the Centre for Energy, Petroleum and Mineral Law and Policy at the University of Dundee. As of July 2019 he is also a Jean Monnet Professor in the Just Transition to a Low-Carbon Economy awarded by the European Commission. He also is Senior Counsel at the law firm Janson in Brussels (Belgium). Professor Heffron is a qualified Barrister-at-Law, and a graduate of both Oxford (MSc) and Cambridge (MPhil & PhD). His work all has a principal focus on achieving a just transition to a low-carbon economy, and combines a mix of energy law, policy and economics. He has published over 140 publications of different types and has given just over 125 keynote or guest lectures in 44 countries worldwide. He has held visiting positions worldwide past and current in: Greece, UK, France, Colombia, West Indies, US, Indonesia, Mozambique and Australia.

Destenie Nock is an Assistant Professor in Civil & Environmental Engineering (CEE), and Engineering and Public Policy (EPP). Her research is focused on applying optimization and decision analysis tools to evaluate the sustainability, equity, and reliability of power systems in the US and Sub-Saharan Africa. One of her current NSF-funded projects include developing a framework for understanding the sustainability and equity trade-offs for different power plant investments. Another project involves quantifying the air pollution emissions associated with electric transmission and distribution systems. Dr. Nock holds a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she was an NSF Graduate Research Fellow, and an Offshore Wind Energy IGERT Fellow. She earned a MSc in Leadership for Sustainable Development at Queen's University of Belfast, and two BS degrees in Electrical Engineering and Applied Math at North Carolina A&T State University. She is the creator of the PhD-ing It Blog site which posts articles about graduate and undergraduate advice, and research updates in energy and sustainability.


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