UN identifies district energy as key solution to energy challenges

Date: 9 October 2015

US Company District Energy St. Paul, earned international recognition in the recently released “District Energy in Cities: Unlocking the Full Potential of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy,” a report from the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) and Local Governments for Sustainability.

The UNEP report identifies district energy technology as a key solution for cities to improve energy efficiency, increase energy access, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution, increase local and renewable energy and grow the green economy. In the report, UNEP suggests that developing modern district systems is the least cost and most efficient path to meet carbon reduction goals.

The UNEP report provides a clear argument for scaling-up district energy technology around the world as well as practical guidelines for system development. In addition to 45 case studies, the report addresses budgeting, business models, energy standards, and energy planning while featuring specific ways that decision makers can set the foundation for system development. While the report will be useful to any city, the UNEP initiative is geared toward cities in developing countries and emerging economies. Modern district energy technology has proven that it can provide these markets with affordable, reliable, and renewable energy.

Cities account for between 60% – 70% of global energy consumption, motivating local governments to do more to mitigate climate change and create global trends. We are thrilled that District Energy St. Paul is receiving international recognition for its role in shaping sustainable energy solutions and helping the city reach its climate mitigation and resilience goals. Saint Paul was one of only three cities in the United States to be recognized for its best practices, efficiency, and integration. As a public-private partnership, the city and District Energy have worked together to create an international model for sustainability and resilient energy solutions.

The report provides a framework for developing policy, finance, and technology best-practices for cities working to transition to district heating and cooling. As one of the 45 case studies, District Energy demonstrates how to reduce fossil fuel dependence by managing a flexible fuel system that incorporates wood waste, thermal storage, and solar to generate heat and power for our community.

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Source: IDEA