From the President of the International District Energy Association

Robert Thornton

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Top Stories by Robert Thornton

Looking out across the changing energy landscape, it is exciting to observe a growing awareness and greater appreciation for district energy. Planners, policy makers and energy professionals from around the world are recognizing district energy as a proven, community-scale solution to enhance energy security, stimulate local economic development, and deliver more sustainable, lower-carbon energy services. District energy is gaining ground through more than simple window-dressing of government-subsidized demonstration projects, but through honest-to-goodness policy engagement designed to generate real industry growth. Around the globe, and especially here in the U.S., district energy systems are now increasingly seen as effective investments for optimizing combined heat and power or tapping indigenous energy resources such as surplus industrial waste heat and renewa... (more)

The New Utility Paradigm

Over the past year or so, it seems like I have been traveling endless­ly, presenting the district energy/CHP story to audiences big and small. From business groups at the local Kiwanis luncheon, to large global symposiums of impressive government and industry leaders, to college lecture halls brimming with bright millennials seeking a path to a career in sustainability, my remarks usually revolve around the fundamental common sense of district energy/CHP and how it can deliver dual economic and environmental benefits along with greater resiliency for local economies. At times I ... (more)

The Emergence of Energy Resilience as a Vital Asset to Communities and Campuses

It seems you can't open a newspaper or magazine today without seeing a story on severe weather, the fragility of the elec­tricity grid and the need to invest in more robust infrastructure. This issue of energy resiliency is gaining traction and visibility among policy makers and elected officials at the federal, state and local levels. Even more importantly, district energy, CHP and microgrids are frequently identified as key strategic solutions. We are clearly building momentum for a new energy paradigm. Recently, at the IDEA Annual Conference and Trade Show, we heard from three ... (more)