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NHA Hosts Its Largest Hydrogen Conference Ever
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By Emily Bryant
Conference Coordinator, National Hydrogen Association

Industry leaders hailed the National Hydrogen Association's 17th Annual Conference & Hydrogen Expo US as the best ever. With a theme, Global Progress Toward Clean Energy, the NHA Annual Hydrogen Conference 2006 was held March 12-17 at the Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach, California. With over 1500 attendees, the Long Beach Hydrogen Conference was the largest NHA conference to date. More than 24 nations were represented at the Conference as well as 44 out of 50 US states. The Hydrogen Expo US was also the largest exhibition to date with over 80 exhibitors from various national and international organizations.

The following is a recap of the conference highlights:

Keynote Speakers
This year the NHA was honored to have 14 keynote addresses this year for the three Plenary Sessions: National & State Progress, International Progress, and Technology Progress. Highlights included a personal video presentation from Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, a live satellite feed from Sacramento for the AC Transit ground-breaking ceremony announcing their new line of hydrogen fuel cell buses, as well as a special appearance from President Oscar Tamaru of Tahiti who presented Terri Tamminen, Special Assistant to the Governor, a traditional Tahitian artifact for Governor Schwarzenegger. The Conference featured international speakers from Canada, People's Republic of China, Italy, Germany, Iceland, United Kingdom, Netherlands, as well as industry leaders from Honda, Toyota, UTC Power, Solar Integrated Technologies, Shell Hydrogen, BP, Hydrogenics, and Linde.

Hydrogen Expo US
This year's exhibition hosted more than 80 organizations from around the world. A complete listing of all 2006 exhibitors has been uploaded to Hydrogen Expo's website at www.hydrogenexpo.com.

If your organization is interested in exhibiting in next year's Conference, please contact Ines Freesen at Hydrogen Expo, in Germany at +49-2802-948484-0 or Bruce Cole, in the US at 207-236-6196. Please hurry as space is limited!

Ride and Drive and Media
This year, the NHA Annual Hydrogen Conference attracted an unprecedented number and variety of hydrogen vehicles using both fuel cell and hydrogen engine technologies. With eighteen vehicles present on site between the exhibition and Ride and Drive, there were many options for auto fanatics. Attendees were wowed with vehicles from DaimlerChrysler, General Motors, Honda, Toyota, National Automotive Center, Nissan, Quantum, Audi, and Volkswagen. Other vehicles present included a hydrogen police cruiser and pickup truck converted by Hydrogen Labs, a motorcycle from Intelligent Energy and a race car from students at the University of North Dakota.

As a result of interest in the Ride and Drive, exhibitors and a number of prominent speakers, the NHA also generated significant interest from the media. In just the few weeks surrounding the conference, dozens of articles specifically featuring conference events and companies with equipment in the exhibition appeared in a wide variety of mainstream, trade, domestic and international publications.

2006 NHA Award Winners
The NHA congratulates this year's Association award winners:

Special Member Award
Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District - for bringing significant visibility to hydrogen and fuel cell technology to the San Francisco Bay Area via its fuel cell bus program; for strong leadership in NHA activities including service on the Education & Outreach Committee and Board of Directors. Greg Harper, President of AC Transit and Jaimie Levin, Director of Alternative Fuels Policy and Marketing accepted the award on AC Transit's behalf.







Meritorious Service Award
Henry W. "Hank" Wedaa - for a lifetime of hydrogen advocacy through service on numerous councils and committees including the Governing Board of the South Coast AQMD, Orange County Business Council, Hydrogen 2000, Hydrogen Technical Advisory Panel, and his current position as President of the California Hydrogen Business Council.








Robert M. Zweig Public Education Award

Institute of Transportation Studies, UC-Davis - For its extensive hydrogen program headed by world-known researchers and scientists; publishing of over 50 papers on hydrogen and fuel cell vehicles and presenting over 80 papers at major international conferences; its broad graduate program to train the next generation of engineers, policymakers, and business leaders in hydrogen technology and policy. Dr. Joan Ogden, Co-Director of the Hydrogen Pathway Program, ITS, accepted the award on UC-Davis' behalf.







Senator Spark Matsunaga Memorial Hydrogen Award
Patrick K. Takahashi - For writing the very first hydrogen bill to be introduced in the U.S. Senate which became the foundation for other hydrogen legislation to follow and for ensuring its re-introduction every year for 10 years until it passed Congress in 1990. For the creation and inclusion of the Hydrogen Technical Advisory Panel in the Matsunaga Act which has been reauthorized in the 2005 National Energy Policy Act as the Hydrogen Technical and Fuel Cell Advisory Committee.







Sponsors
The NHA extends its deepest thanks and appreciation to all sponsoring organizations:

Gold

Silver

Bronze

Copper

Crystal

Without the generous support of these sponsors, the conference could not be possible.

Endorsing Organizations
The NHA thanks the following Endorsing Organizations for their support of the Conference and assistance in its promotion:


NHA Idea Forums
The NHA hosted four NHA Idea Forums at the conference. These special sessions are designed to provide a forum for panel-participant interaction and dialogue in which both sides may exchange information and develop ideas that address key hydrogen issues and opportunities. The themes for this year included:

  1. Vehicles: The Path Forward-What influences the pathway to implementing hydrogen transportation?
  2. Playing to the End Game-Emerging power technologies: wind, solar, and biomass
  3. Preparing for the Next Katrina-How can hydrogen UPS systems meet near-term reliable power needs?
  4. Getting the Baseline Right-Starting with conventional production pathways: natural gas, coal, nuclear, and hydropower.

The NHA will continue to hold Idea Forums at future conferences. If you have ideas for future Forums, please contact Debbi Smith, Vice President, Management Operations at 202-223-5547 ext. 321 or email smithd@hydrogenassociation.org.

NHA Annual Hydrogen Conference 2007
Preparations for the NHA's Annual Hydrogen Conference 2007 are already well underway. Next year's conference will be located in San Antonio, Texas at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center March 18-22. The NHA's conference website will be updated with next year's conference information shortly so please refer to it often between now and next March for the latest program, hotel, venue, sponsorship, and conference information. It is located at www.hydrogenconference.org.

If you are interested in more information on sponsoring next year's conference, becoming an endorsing organization, or joining the NHA Conference Steering Committee, please contact Emily Bryant, Conference Coordinator at 202-223-5547 ex. 327 or email bryante@hydrogenassociation.org.



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