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Cablegate: Nicaragua Interested in Attending Energy and Climate Ministerial of the Americas

VZCZCXYZ0014
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMU #1105/01 3291421
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 251421Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY MANAGUA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0196
INFO WHA CENTRAL AMERICAN COLLECTIVE
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS MANAGUA 001105

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ENRG SENV ECON NU EAGR KGHG KSUM
SUBJECT: NICARAGUA INTERESTED IN ATTENDING ENERGY AND CLIMATE MINISTERIAL OF THE AMERICAS

REF: STATE 114913; MANAGUA 889

SUMMARY

1. (SBU) On November 19, Econoffs met with Emilio Rappaccioli,
Nicaragua's Minister of Energy and Mines (MEM), and delivered an
invitation to attend the Energy and Climate Ministerial of the
Americas, April 15-16, 2010, in Washington, D.C. (Ref A). The
Minister expressed interest in attending; however, he shared an
invitation for a conflicting engagement on energy issues to be held
in Germany for the same dates. [Action Request: Post requests
clarification from DOE and DOS about how to address this timing
conflict.] Rappaccioli said that approximately 35% of Nicaraguans
lack access to electricity, and he described critical energy
infrastructure projects involving hydroelectric, geothermal, and
wind energy. Minister Rappaccioli's interest in participating in
the Ministerial is a departure from MEM's recent lukewarm response
to our previous efforts to engage on energy and climate change
issues (Ref B). Unfortunately, the conflict between the U.S. forum
and the simultaneous meeting in Germany means that he is unlikely
to attend our event.

GON COMMITTED TO ATTENDING LAC-EU ENERGY FORUM APRIL 15-16, 2010

2. (U) On November 19, Econoffs met with Emilio Rappaccioli, Nicaragua's Minister of Energy and Mines, and delivered an invitation to attend the Energy and Climate Ministerial of the Americas, April 15-16, 2010, in Washington, D.C. (Ref A). The Minister said that he would like to attend; however, he shared an invitation for a conflicting engagement on energy issues to be held in Germany for the same dates (entitled "European Union and Latin America and the Caribbean Forum on Technical Cooperation, Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency"). Post has transmitted a scanned copy of this invitation via e-mail to the Department. Rappaccioli expressed interest in resolving the scheduling conflict so that he could attend both events.

3. (U) Rappaccioli explained that in the absence of a change in
dates, he would be inclined to attend the meeting in Europe since
he received that invitation first. First Lady Rosario Murillo
instructed him on November 19 to follow-up with the Europeans
regarding his personal attendance.

NICARAGUAN ENERGY PRIORITIES

4. (U) Approximately 35% of Nicaraguans lack access to
electricity, according to Rappaccioli. He emphasized the
importance of small renewable energy projects, involving
hydroelectric and wind energy, to help reach rural communities that
are without electricity. MEM is emphasizing the importance of
energy efficiency and renewable energy by working in conjunction
with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Trade, Industry,
and Development to introduce a relevant curriculum to fourth,
fifth, and sixth graders throughout the country.

5. (U) Rappaccioli outlined a five-year plan focusing on improving
energy efficiency and described projects ranging from private
sector energy audits, funded by the Inter-American Development
Bank, to the GON's own efforts to replace inefficient equipment
throughout their offices. As testament to this effort, a South
Korean funded solar panel project is almost completed at the MEM
offices in Managua. Rappaccioli described critical energy
infrastructure projects involving hydroelectric, geothermal, and
wind energy. He said that from November 23-25, he would visit
Washington, D.C., to meet with representatives from the World Bank,
the Inter-American Development Bank, and Canadian company Polaris
regarding a geothermal energy project in San Jacinto Tizate.
Rappaccioli placed special emphasis on Tumarin, a Brazilian-funded
200 megawatt hydroelectric project planned for construction on the
Rio Grande de Matagalpa.

COMMENT

6. (SBU) Minister Rappaccioli's interest in participating in the
Ministerial is a departure from MEM's recent lukewarm response to
our previous efforts to engage on energy and climate change issues
(Ref B). Unfortunately, the conflict between the U.S. forum and
the simultaneous meeting in Germany means that he is unlikely to
attend our event. [Action Request: Post requests clarification
from DOE and DOS about how to address this timing conflict.]
CALLAHAN

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