Organizations Sign International MOU to Boost District Energy and Combined Heat and Power

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Kendall Cogeneration Station, courtesy of Veolia

District energy and combined heat and power received an international boost with a recent agreement between the International District Energy Association (IDEA) and key organizations in Korea, China, Europe and the Mongol Government.

US-based IDEA signed the memorandum of agreement with the Korea District Heating & Cooling Association, the China District Heating Association, Euroheat & Power, and the Ministry of Energy of the Mongol Government.

The agreement defines common objectives and a collaborative framework to increase the energy technologies around the globe.

“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,” said Rob Thornton, IDEA president & CEO.

In effect until 2020, the agreement strives to increase energy efficiency, reduce emissions, strengthen local and regional economies and deliver other societal and environmental benefits through district energy and CHP, also known as cogeneration.

As outlined by IDEA, the MOU’s main objectives are:

(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.

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About Elisa Wood

Elisa Wood is the chief editor of She has been writing about energy for more than three decades for top industry publications. Her work also has been picked up by CNN, the New York Times, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal Online and the Washington Post.