International District Energy Association Signs MOU for Enhanced International Collaboration on District Energy/Combined Heat & Power

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Industry association joins four international organizations in global effort to increase deployment of district energy/CHP for more sustainable cities and communities

Representatives from all five organizations participate in MOU signing last week in Seoul, South Korea.

As urban energy intensity grows along with global population migration to cities, it is increasingly important that we modernize and accelerate investment in more sustainable and resilient district energy systems in our cities and communities.

On August 27, 2015 in Seoul, South Korea, the International District Energy Association (IDEA) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in conjunction with the Korea District Heating & Cooling Association, the China District Heating Association, Euroheat & Power, and the Ministry of Energy of the Mongol Government. The MOU defines common objectives and a collaborative framework intended to increase deployment of district energy and combined heat and power (CHP) systems in the respective countries and around the globe so as to increase energy efficiency, reduce emissions, strengthen local and regional economies and deliver the societal and environmental benefits of efficient district energy systems and CHP.

In effect until 2020, the MOU brings together five parties who will share in the effort to advance the district energy industry and promote sustainable and resilient technologies. The formal partnership of these organizations will significantly enhance their pre-existing mutual collaboration and allow for the achievement of sustainability and resiliency goals at a larger scale than previously possible.

The main objectives outlined in the international MOU are as follows:

(1) District heating and cooling systems play an important role in promoting environmental protection and sustainability, serving as one of the most effective means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. As such, each party will work to enhance sustainability on the local, regional and global levels by facilitating mutual collaboration and exchange of information with regard to district heating and cooling systems, including combined heat and power, the incorporation of renewables and deployment of microgrids.

(2) Each party must reinforce cooperative activities in the following areas: (a) information exchange on policy and law; (b) information exchange on technology standards and trends of technology development; (c) enhancing energy saving, efficiency and environmental protection; (d) survey analysis and research activities; (e) education, training, seminars and site visits; (f) support for smooth implementation of joint projects between countries; and (g) regular information exchange necessary for the implementation of other agreements.

Rob Thornton, President & CEO of IDEA, says “I want to thank KDHC President & CEO Mr. Sung-Hei Kim for his leadership on this initiative, for hosting this important event and sponsoring the signing of this memorandum of understanding among our organizations and our respective countries. I want to congratulate President Kim and all the dedicated employees of Korea District Heating Corporation on their 30th anniversary of operations. As urban energy intensity grows along with global population migration to cities, it is increasingly important that we modernize and accelerate investment in more sustainable and resilient district energy systems in our cities and communities. IDEA is pleased to support this important initiative to enhance global cooperation and increase sharing of industry best practices.”

Considering the impacts and growing frequency of severe weather events worldwide, resiliency and energy efficiency have become important considerations in infrastructure development. District energy systems are emerging as a key element for climate change mitigation and adaptation. The signing of the aforementioned MOU is intended to bring a more formal obligation to all involved parties to continue the support of sustainable growth and improved economic and environmental performance provided by new and existing district energy systems in communities across the globe.

The International District Energy Association (IDEA) was founded in 1909 with the mission to foster the success of its members as leaders in providing reliable, economical, efficient and environmentally-sound district energy services. The association’s membership consists of over 2000 representatives from utilities, municipalities, universities, hospitals, military bases, airports, industrial parks and other physical plant systems engaged in supplying thermal energy for heating, cooling and process uses. IDEA also represents engineers, architects, consultants, manufacturers and finance specialists who supply services and equipment for district energy systems.

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Robert Thornton
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International District Energy Association
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