NHA NEWS

NHA Participates in World Hydrogen Energy Conference Held in Buenos Aires


by Karen Miller, Coordinator, National Hydrogen Association

Robert Mauro [NHA’s Executive Vice President] and I, along with a few other American hydrogen industry representatives, lent our number to the 385 participants that attended the World Hydrogen Energy Conference (WHEC) in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from June 22-25. I was filled with trepidation about this conference, as communications between the organizing committee in Argentina and the United States were scarce prior to the conference. However, the organizing committee did an excellent job of pulling together a highly professional conference. The Argentinian people were quite friendly and helpful. Nearly everyone I met spoke English, and I learned a little Spanish. The main outing was a fabulous dinner at “Senor Tango,” which included a professional Tango show. The quality and quantity of the food was unrivaled, especially the beef!

Most participants gave one or more presentations. The number of presentations forced the conference coordinators to set up five-minute windows for many of the topics, allowing poster presentations for detail. The NHA gave two presentations. Robert Mauro gave a poster presentation describing the implementation activities in hydrogen, and I presented the ongoing codes and standards activities with which the NHA is involved. Both presentations were well received.

In addition, the Sourcebook for Hydrogen Applications was unveiled. The first generation of the Sourcebook is available through the NHA and Canadian Hydrogen Association.

The technical program was extensive. There were frequently four or five sessions running concurrently, which meant I could not possibly participate in everything I was interested in seeing. However, I had the chance to read about it in the three-volume proceedings, which were handed out at registration (thank goodness for luggage with wheels!)

There were some common themes which seemed to jump out at me during the conference. Firstly, hydrogen associations are springing up in other countries. Germany, Norway, France, Sweden, and Argentina have them, in addition to the U.S. and Canada. There were several discussions of future cooperation and synergy.

Secondly, Argentina sees hydrogen energy as a very real solution to urban air pollution. German businesses have a growing interest in hydrogen; however, the German administration has not been as supportive as the U.S. and Canadian governments.

Finally, all countries are interested in the development of international safety codes and standards for hydrogen systems. Keep your eyes open for an announcement for WHEC 2000, to be held in Beijing, China. Information on this and other upcoming conferences can be found on the NHA Webpage’s Calendar of Renewable Energy Meetings.

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