Thursday, October 4, 2018

"The GRC epitomizes the geothermal community, our wider membership, and our national and international collaborators." - GRC Executive Director

The GRC at Once Advocates, Facilitates and Educates

by Will Pettitt, PhD, Executive Director
Geothermal Resources Council (GRC)

It’s been with great pleasure that I’ve begun my new role with the GRC as Executive Director and I’m now writing the first of my articles in the Bulletin. In the first few months I’ve been impressed with the commitment, talent and professionalism of everybody involved in the organization. In that sense the GRC epitomizes the geothermal community, our wider membership, and our national and international collaborators. The geothermal industry is going through a period of resurgence and new growth, with new science, technologies, projects and opportunities. I believe our membership will look towards the GRC to lead our community, and speak on behalf of the industry, through this next phase.

Our organization’s mission is to help elevate the whole industry by raising the recognition and acceptance of geothermal energy across the spectrum of society in government, industry, academia and the general public, both at home and abroad. Geothermal energy should be synonymous with renewable energy and should be the first word that is uttered when government leaders give speeches that reference renewable energy; it should not be missing from the list of alternatives or from the discussion. Similarly, the first thought in the public conscience about renewable energy should be geothermal energy and the reasons why our power is the future of renewables should be clear and obvious to all. We should be outward facing and actively collaborating with other renewable industries to be a vibrant partner within this sector. I believe that working towards these goals, by taking all the small, practical, steps to get there, will help us achieve our mission.

Those practical steps rely on the strategic direction of the GRC as an organization. One of my first activities is to review that strategy with our Board of Directors and understand their direction in terms of specific initiatives and priorities. The GRC staff are also knowledgeable and experienced and have their own views, enthusiasm and passions for our focus moving forward. You, our membership, can provide input and encouragement to all of us through your communications with the Board and our staff, and through your involvement in our activities, outreach and balloting. I see the motivation of GRC as being summed up by three words: Advocate; Facilitate; Educate.
  • Be a strong, sustainable and robust professional society that advocates on behalf of our membership to increase recognition of the geothermal industry in a collaborative environment with our partners;
  • To facilitate research and development of science and technologies for geothermal power to help drive its implementation and efficiency;
  • To educate our membership, community and society by providing resources and activities that network, inform and provide assistance to our members in their own work.
As brief examples, here are three ongoing initiatives that I encourage you to learn more about from our website and feedback ideas for what could be further achieved:
  1. The Policy Committee has been set up as part of the merger between the Geothermal Energy Association (GEA) and GRC to be our advocacy group with government and to support legislation at all levels; 
  2. Our Annual Meeting in Reno looks to be the most successful and thriving in many years and we hope to welcome many of you there starting Friday October 12 with our pre-conference workshops; 
  3. The Ambassador Program aims to inform and educate through a network of volunteers in industry and academia to expand awareness of geothermal energy across all parts of society. 
There is much work to do, and a lot to be accomplished, for the GRC to fulfill our mission for our industry and community in partnership with our membership and collaborators. On behalf of all the staff and board, we look forward to working with you on these initiatives and helping support you in your own endeavors.

Meet Will Pettitt, PhD, Executive Director, Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) at the GRC Annual Meeting & Expo, 14-17 October at the Peppermill Resort Spa & Casino, Reno, Nevada, USA.