International District Energy Association (IDEA) to Attend COP21 in Paris

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Industry association will moderate a session as part of the Cities & Regions Pavilion at COP21

Now that mayors are actively seeking economically viable solutions to generate immediate environmental gains at scale, district energy has emerged as an excellent solution for rapid-growth, energy-dense urban settings.

On Thursday, December 3, 2015 the International District Energy Association (IDEA) will moderate a session at the twenty-first Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris, France. The session, titled “Sustainable Energy Solutions in the Built Environment – A Dialogue” is organized by Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI), the International District Energy Association (IDEA), Euroheat & Power and Empower Energy Corporation, and will take place from 18:00-18:45 in Agora Hall.

The session will be a dynamic discussion between city and business representatives, focusing on the solutions-oriented approach that has enabled cities to utilize clean sustainable fuel sources while implementing and modernizing district energy systems that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. District energy systems involve highly reliable and resilient energy infrastructure that provides efficient, low carbon thermal energy supply to multiple buildings in a city, community or campus. Robert Thornton, IDEA President & CEO, will facilitate the discussion.

To help accelerate the ongoing global sustainable energy transition, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) launched the District Energy in Cities Initiative in late 2014 within the framework of the Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) Energy Efficiency Accelerator Platform. This initiative provides capacity building and technical assistance to local governments and their partners, promoting the transfer of policy, finance and technical knowledge to help overcome barriers facing deployment of district energy infrastructure.

During Thursday’s session, an overview of the District Energy in Cities Initiative will be presented by Maryke van Staden of ICLEI, followed by dialogue among prominent city leaders, including: the Honorable Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh, Mayor, City of Malmö, Sweden; Peter Krahl Rydberg, Environmental Strategist, City of Gothenburg, Sweden; Anne Hunt, Environmental Policy Director, City of Saint Paul, Minnesota; along with industry leaders Ahmad Bin Shafar, CEO of Empower Energy Solutions, Dubai, UAE and Paul Voss, Managing Director of Euroheat & Power, Brussels, Belgium.

Last week, IDEA released a video outlining how district energy enables a low carbon city through the aggregation of heating and cooling loads of hundreds of buildings, enabling precise control, the adoption of low-carbon technologies, and much higher efficiency than is otherwise possible. The release of this video closely aligns with the emphasis on city-scale planning and local action that will be seen at COP21 in Paris.

Rob Thornton, President & CEO of IDEA says, “It is pretty clear that while climate change is a global challenge, it must be addressed at the local level through more efficient and resilient energy infrastructure in our cities. District energy is a proven suite of technologies that has been somewhat overlooked, until recently. Now that mayors are actively seeking economically viable solutions to generate immediate environmental gains at scale, district energy has emerged as an excellent solution for rapid-growth, energy-dense urban settings.”

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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International District Energy Association
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