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Cablegate: Nrel Expert On Renewable Energy Receives Rave Reviews In

VZCZCXRO6670
RR RUEHAST RUEHHM RUEHLN RUEHMA RUEHPB RUEHPOD RUEHTM
DE RUEHBR #1172/01 2491113
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 051113Z SEP 08 ZDK CITING NUMEROUS
FM AMEMBASSY BRASILIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2360
INFO RUEHZN/ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE
RUEHDS/AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA 0336
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN 0355
RUEHBK/AMEMBASSY BANGKOK 0511
RUEHUP/AMEMBASSY BUDAPEST 0329
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RUEHOR/AMEMBASSY GABORONE 0332
RUEHKT/AMEMBASSY KATHMANDU 0338
RUEHLC/AMEMBASSY LIBREVILLE 0339
RUEHSJ/AMEMBASSY SAN JOSE 0859
RUEHSV/AMEMBASSY SUVA 0318
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 0560
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 5757
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO 0537
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ 6521
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA 3915
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO 2563
RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 4698
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RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO 6544
RHEBAAA/DOE WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BRASILIA 001172

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV ENRG KGHG ECON CI AR XR BR
SUBJECT: NREL EXPERT ON RENEWABLE ENERGY RECEIVES RAVE REVIEWS IN
CHILE AND ARGENTINA

BRASILIA 00001172 001.4 OF 002


-------
SUMMARY
-------

1. Renewable energies expert Dr. Doug Arent from the U.S. National
Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) spoke at a series of events in
Chile and Argentina on energy technology and energy efficiency,
issues of primary importance to the national security of these two
countries. Dr. Arent's visit was arranged under Public Diplomacy's
International Information Program. His presentations to government,
private sector and academic audiences were well-received, and they
attracted considerable press attention. END SUMMARY.

-----
CHILE
-----

2. Dr. Arent's visit to Chile was very productive. Ambassador Paul
Simons demonstrated extraordinary support for the program and
actively participated during all three days.

3. Dr. Arent was well received by the Chilean National Energy
Commission and Ministry of Treasury (on biofuels and energy
efficiency), the Science and Technology commission (CONICYT),
investors and banking groups (CORFO, Fundacion Chile), and business
groups (AmCham/Chile, SOFOFA, CIFCO, etc.). He lectured to a
multidisciplinary audience at the public University of Chile and a
standing-room only event at University of Talca.

4. Arent's visit received substantial media coverage and very
positive reactions from the Chilean public. During the Government of
Chile (GOC) meeting on biofuels and energy efficiency Dr. Arent was
able to provide feedback on Chile's current plans to create a number
of biofuels pilot plants across the country. Chileans sought advice
on capturing international investment in these demonstrative plants,
technical cooperation opportunities, and research and development
challenges associated with second-generation (cellulosic) biofuels.
Chileans seemed positively impressed by Dr. Arent's extensive
knowledge and respect for the GOC's positions.

5. COMMENTS Meetings with the private sector and investors were more
subdued compared to the enthusiasm at universities and with Chilean
government (GOC) representatives. END COMMENT.

---------
ARGENTINA
---------

5. Dr. Arent's visit to Buenos Aires was content-filled. Dr. Arent
spoke to private sector experts at Argentina's Business Council for
Sustainable Development (CEADS), to political and technical staff of
the Government of Argentina (GOA) Secretariat of Energy, and
professors and undergraduate students at the University of Buenos
Aires.

6. Dr. Arent also spoke to an enthusiastic group of grad students at
the University of Social and Business Sciences (UCES). To close off
Dr. Arent's visit, ECON Officer Douglas Climan and ESTH Officer
James Perez accompanied him to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

7. COMMENT: The Argentina program received less enthusiasm from the
government of Argentina. The GOA representatives seemed to have an
intrinsic distrust of a "hidden agenda". END COMMENT.

BRASILIA 00001172 002.4 OF 002

---------
FOLLOW-UP
---------
8. Dr. Arent mentioned the possibility of making his presentations
available online and having one of NREL's Spanish-speaking experts
respond to questions online.

9. Another opportunity for collaboration is NREL's expert visitors
program. During the week of August 20, the NREL facilities in
Golden, Colorado was planning to receive a group of South American
experts to learn more about NREL's Bio for Biofuels Program. Their
visit was made possible through the Cochran Fellowship Program,
which is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's
Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS).

----------
CONCLUSION
----------
10. The Strategic Speaker Initiative is an excellent mechanism to
leverage funds towards ESTH issues with a regional perspective. For
under USD 5,000, the Department of State was able to reach a
significant number of government representatives, university
professors, students, private investors, and business groups. Much
of the South American public was not aware of the USG's advanced
work in renewable energies, instead looking to Europe for renewable
energy examples.

SOBEL

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