Energy Plan Reaction: Policy Favours District Energy and Cogen

The proposed energy policy is expected to encourage additional district energy and combined heat and power development, according to the International District Energy Association.

ST. PAUL, Minnesota, US, 2001-05-18 <SolarAccess.com> President George Bush toured a district energy facility in St. Paul prior to announcing his new strategy. “Energy efficiency, reliability and fuel flexibility are district energy hallmarks – and those certainly are key to stabilizing the country’s energy future,” says IDEA president Robert Thornton. District energy and cogeneration hold strong promise for increasing the efficiency of heating and cooling buildings across the country. One advantage of district energy systems is their widespread use in virtually every major city and in hundreds of university campuses, airports, hospital complexes and military bases, explains Thornton. “In many U.S. cities, the district energy system has been part of the urban energy infrastructure for more than a century, producing steam, hot water and/or chilled water for distribution through an underground piping network to area buildings for heating, cooling or industrial processes.” District energy users include the U.S. Capitol Building, the Transamerica Pyramid, Rockefeller Center, Stanford University, Harvard University, Princeton University, the Pentagon, and Boys Town in Omaha, among others. “District energy is not a new technology in and of itself,” adds Thornton. “It is here today, it works today and we don’t have to wait to test it or research it. District energy systems are adaptable and can take advantage of new energy technologies and ideas as they come along.” Centralized district energy plants generally use fuels more efficiently than individual boilers at multiple buildings, and system reliability claims to be 99.999 percent since numerous boilers and chillers can meet demand. Since a central plant consolidates the heating or cooling appetites, numerous fuel sources can be used, including coal, oil, natural gas and renewables.

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