Over 75 representatives from industry, government, academia and NGO’s gathered in Buenos Aires for the Institute of the Americas and CEARE Argentina Energy Roundtable on May 16-17.
Across two days of high-level Davos-style panels, speakers shared key insights on a wide range of issues from how to define energy transition in Argentina, the role of renewables as viewed by the current administration, nuclear energy, hydrogen, lithium and the ongoing effort to truly leverage Vaca Muerta including resetting regional integration and liquefied natural gas (LNG). Above all, the element of macroeconomic stability and how to manage financing – particularly against the current global backdrop – cut across all the sessions.
Regardless of the segment of the energy sector, there was an acknowledgement that broader global and domestic macroeconomic challenges require deft management for Argentina’s energy security and efforts to regain self-supply if not become a global energy exporter. Call it resilience in the face of a world replete with challenges. Nevertheless, there was a noticeable level of optimism in the formal remarks of speakers, but also in the foyer during the coffee breaks and cocktail. Perhaps it can be partially attributed to having the chance to meet again in person after more than two years. But there is surely a much less ephemeral reason. Argentina’s resource potential is significant. But, as the old axiom in the sector goes – the above ground can often be more important than below ground. Was the optimism at the event derived from the view that Argentina is on a path to striking a balance between above and below ground?