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Cablegate: Argentina: Videoconference On Hydrogen Fuel Cells

VZCZCXYZ0010
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBU #1481 3021502
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 281502Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2350
INFO RUCNMER/MERCOSUR COLLECTIVE
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS BUENOS AIRES 001481

SIPDIS

FOR WHA/BSC AND WHA/EPSC

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ENRG SENV ECON AR
SUBJECT: ARGENTINA: VIDEOCONFERENCE ON HYDROGEN FUEL CELLS
BUILDS ON ALTERNATIVE ENERGY AGREEMENT

1. (U) WHA/EPSC and Embassy Buenos Aires organized a
successful videoconference (DVC) on October 24, between U.S.
and Argentine experts and policymakers on the subject of
hydrogen fuel cells. The DVC was a follow-up to the
agreement on alternative and renewable energy signed by A/S
Shannon last July, and a direct result of the meeting of the
alternative energy working group in Buenos Aires on September
11. The DVC linked the State Department to DOE's National
Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) in Pittsburgh and
Argentina's Ministry of Energy in Buenos Aires.

2. (U) The U.S. side included Dr. Juru Pena, a senior
researcher at Virginia Commonwealth; Michael Mills, Project
Leader at DOE's International Policy Office; Kristin Shade
Deason, Senior Analyst at DOE's Energy Efficiency and
Renewable Energy Office; and Antonio Ruiz, also from DOE.
Representing State were WHA/EPSC's Faith Corneille and
Michael Stewart, who had organized the DVC, as well as Brian
Duggan from EEB and Thomas Burns from OES. Fuel Cell
Technology Manager Wayne Surdoval and Project Manager Maria
Reidpath represented DOE's NETL in Pittsburgh. Also present
were two officials from the Argentine Embassy in Washington.

3. (U) The Argentine side was led by Juan Legisa, the GOA's
Senior Coordinator for Renewable Energy Policy. It included
Jorge Ricombeni, who handles special projects for the MFA;
Horacio Corti from the Nuclear Energy Commission (CNEA);
Osvaldo Bakovich, from the Energy Ministry; and Miguel
Laborde, from the University of Buenos Aires. Embassy's
ESTCouns accompanied the group.

4. (U) Pena outlined the state of research in the U.S. and
noted that problems still remained, particularly regarding
storage and safety. Mills shared a PowerPoint presentation
that highlighted international cooperation efforts and
strategic partnerships. Surdoval explained NETL's focus on
high temperature solid oxyde fuel cells. The Argentines in
turn outlined the GOA's 5-year program for hydrogen fuel cell
development. They stressed that this was one of the highest
research priorities for the GOA in alternative energy.

5. (U) The Argentine coordinator called for joint research
and development, and pledged to transmit concrete proposals
for cooperation within the next weeks. It was agreed that
the U.S. Embassy and WHA/EPSC would be the focal points for
communication between both sides. The coordinator was
pleased with the results of the DVC and the contacts
established. He requested that the next DVC be focused on
wind power.
WAYNE

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