The International District Energy Association (IDEA - http://www.districtenergy.org) applauds President Barack Obama's statement on the importance of US leadership on climate change in today's inaugural address.
"IDEA members are eager to support the President and Congress in moving forward to address climate change by increasing the efficiency and resiliency of the energy infrastructure serving our cities, communities and campuses through greater adoption of district energy and combined heat and power (CHP) systems," said IDEA President & CEO Robert P. Thornton. "We can start immediately by recovering excess thermal energy from power plants and re-using it to heat and cool our communities, rather than simply continuing to waste this valuable resource by rejecting it to our rivers, oceans, lakes and the sky."
"At this historic moment, it's worth noting that the average fuel efficiency of US central station coal-fired power plants is still around 34%, a number that has not changed substantially since President Eisenhower took the oath of office 60 years ago in 1953," stated Thornton. "We can do better. It's now well past time that the United States energy infrastructure were modernized beyond our "grandfather's electricity grid" to a more distributed generation model, fully utilizing district energy and combined heat and power to provide cleaner, more reliable energy services in our cities and communities across the country."
Thornton continued, "Investments in district energy and CHP improve reliability and grid resiliency during extreme weather events and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by recycling useful thermal energy to heat and cool buildings. Proven, community-scale energy efficiency systems like district energy/CHP will be important to achieving the goal of adding 40 new gigawatts of CHP by 2020 as called for in the White House Executive Order of August 30, 2012."
The International District Energy Association is a nonprofit 501(c)6 industry trade association founded in 1909 and governed by a 22-member Board of Directors. IDEA represents approximately 1600 members who are district heating and cooling executives, managers, engineers, consultants and equipment suppliers from 26 countries. Association members operate district energy systems owned by utilities, municipalities, hospitals, military bases and airports throughout North America and around the world. The largest district heating system in the United States, owned by Consolidated Edison of New York, is an IDEA member, as is the nation's largest district cooling system, Thermal Chicago.
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