Thursday, December 19, 2013

Appointment: Regional Policy Ambassador, Canadian Geothermal Energy Association

It is with great honour I accept the position of Regional Policy Ambassador for the Canadian Geothermal Energy Association (CanGEA). The Canadian Geothermal Energy Association (CanGEA) is the collective voice of Canada’s geothermal energy industry. As a non-profit industry association,
CanGEA represents the interests of member companies with the primary goal of unlocking the country’s tremendous geothermal energy potential.

Geothermal energy can provide competitively priced, renewable, around-the-clock energy to the Canadian and U.S. markets and be a part of the solution to growing concerns about securing sustainable, cost-effective energy sources. My appointment has also attracted a key endorsement from Mr. Robert Bectel, the CTO of the United States Department of Energy (DOE). Here is the full text of the release:


 CanGEA expands its geographic presence with several key appointments Calgary, Canada (December 18, 2013) – The Canadian Geothermal Energy Association (CanGEA), is pleased to announce the appointment of three talented individuals to its ranks. These appointments will increase CanGEA’s capacity and expand its influence, as it endeavours to raise awareness about Canada’s vast geothermal resources. CanGEA will draw on the talent of the appointees to garner support from all stakeholders, as a means of invigorating both geothermal policy and market development. Ultimately, the aim is to initiate an era of geothermal prospecting activity throughout Canada.

CanGEA is pleased to add the talent, experience and drive of Duane Nickull, Milan Seres, and Grant Van Hal to the CanGEA team. Mr. Nickull was appointed as the Regional Policy Ambassador for British Columbia and Milan Seres was named the Regional Policy Ambassador for Ontario. Finally, Grant Van Hal is CanGEA’s Policy Advisor and works out of CanGEA’s main office in Calgary.

These appointments are not being made to individuals in need of additional professional responsibilities or employment, but to individuals who see the existence of latent potential and have a desire to be instrumental in the development of this potential. It is for this reason they have offered part of their time to help launch Canada’s geothermal industry.

Mr. Nickull is a technology entrepreneur who has successfully built several technology companies and is now focusing his efforts on promoting and making renewable energy projects a reality in British Columbia, Canada. Mr. Nickull recently worked on the United States Department of Energy (DOE) National Geothermal Data System (NGDS), a federation of data services providing data to support geothermal energy development. He provided his technical expertise on the informatics systems of NGDS. Today he is appreciative of the opportunity to be able to utilize this experience as a means to promote geothermal energy at a much grander scale.

According to Mr. Robert Bectel, Chief Technology Officer and Sr. Policy Advisor to the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, at the US Department of Energy: “Duane provided that optimal mix of deep knowledge, rich experience and fiery passion – a rare combination in any field of endeavor – towards developing the world’s first national level geothermal data system built on a federation of data services” and “His contributions were invaluable to the overall progress of the project and we look forward to working with him as he works on new renewable energy projects in his new position with CanGEA”

After graduating from Osgoode Hall Law School, Milan Seres began his legal career with General Motors before starting his own practice. In addition to the practice of law, Mr. Seres is the founder and managing director of Praxis Dialectic, a sustainable development consulting company. Work in this area includes the development of sustainability reports and conducting due diligence in relation to emerging green technologies and practices. The above mentioned knowledge augments previous experience gained with CanGEA as part of the Ontario and Eastern Canada Policy Committee when he played a role in the development of CanGEA’s Ontario focussed policy position. After practising law for several years, Mr. Van Hal returned to university to obtain a Master of Science in Sustainable Energy Development. During this time he focused his research on legal frameworks applicable to geothermal energy. The resulting paper is due to be published by the Canadian Institute of Resource Law in early 2014. Mr. Van Hal has taken on a leading role in CanGEA’s policy development and is heading CanGEA’s government engagement efforts.

When the North American continent was forged nature’s forces gave no consideration to the arbitrary political boundaries that man would one day impose on the continent. Despite this fact, Canada produces 0 MW of electricity from the vast geothermal resources stored under our feet, while the United States (including Alaska) and Mexico are respectively the largest and the 4th largest producers of geothermal power in the world. According to Alison Thompson, the Chair of CanGEA, “We are still in need of support from thought leaders who can exert their influence within Canada, as a means of kindling a domestic industry with boundless potential.” She adds that she would like to see, “Additional political and business leaders step forward”.

Wow, feeling = humbled….

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