IDEA Showcases Tools for Cost-effective Compliance with the EPA Clean Power Plan 111(d)

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New white paper describes how district energy/CHP systems can cost-effectively cut emissions, strengthen the grid and support state compliance plans with 111(d)

District energy systems can take advantage of local renewable resources to provide heating and/or cooling to multiple buildings using one efficient central plant.

The waste heat from US power generation is 25% of total US energy use and exceeds the total national energy use in all but three of the world’s 216 countries. Let’s face it, we can do better, and district energy/CHP is an important tool in our toolbox.

District energy and combined heat & power are proven technologies that can reduce emissions, increase energy efficiency, strengthen regional electricity grids and enhance resiliency for cities, communities, and campuses. Cities and states are encouraged to consider district energy/CHP as part of a compliance strategy for the EPA Clean Power Plan.

“In the US, our traditional central station power plants operate at an average efficiency of 34% and reject around 24 quadrillion BTUs of waste heat annually, dumping that heat into rivers, bays or the sky. The waste heat from US power generation is 25% of total US energy use and exceeds the total national energy use in all but three of the world’s 216 countries. Let’s face it, we can do better, and district energy/CHP is an important tool in our toolbox,” says Robert P. Thornton, President and CEO of IDEA.

In June 2014, in order to encourage the deployment of clean power and to address the threat of climate change, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the first time proposed a rule regulating CO2 from existing electric generating sources. This rule, known colloquially as “111(d)” for the applicable section of the Clean Air Act, will affect almost all states. Once finalized, 111(d) will establish CO2 goals for each affected state. These rules will require reductions in CO2 from affected facilities and the state’s electricity system as a whole, which will in turn yield tremendous environmental, economic and health benefits to society.

Anna Chittum, author of the report, states, “With the new rule, states will begin seriously considering, for the first time, how their energy systems perform in terms of CO2 emissions. This report is intended to help state policy makers understand how cost-effective investments in CHP and DE can provide CO2 reductions and help states comply with the new federal rule. The report profiles seven existing district energy/CHP systems in the U.S. and their known CO2 emissions reduction impacts to better understand how district energy/CHP can help states economically meet their energy needs and reduce harmful emissions.”

The report, available here, is being released in advance of IDEA2015: Inspiring the Next Generation, IDEA’s 106th Annual Conference & Trade Show taking place in Boston June 28-July 1 at the Hynes Convention Center. Participants from around the globe will be on hand to discuss industry best practices, technology advances and emerging policy trends driving deployment of district energy in cities, communities and campuses world wide.

The International District Energy Association (IDEA) is a nonprofit 501(c) 6 industry association founded in 1909 and governed by a 22-member Board of Directors. IDEA represents approximately 2000 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.

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Robert Thornton
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International District Energy Association
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