Chair's Update 1st Quarter 2018

By Jim Lodge posted 11-05-2018 13:03


Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher, was quoted as saying that change is the only constant in life. How true is that? Well, maybe not completely true for everything, looking at the Major League Baseball division leaders as I write my column compared to the same time last year. That being said, our industry does continue to change, and we need to lead the change to ensure district energy, combined heat and
power, and microgrids continue to prosper, grow and be recognized for the value they provide. If we don’t, unintended consequences may occur.

I would like to remind you of this year’s theme, “The Global Renaissance of District Energy,” and the “MIST” core strategies:
· Marketing
· International information exchange
· Succession
· Technology transfer

As I have mentioned before, it is my goal during my term as chair to
1. develop an approach within IDEA to regularly assess our strategies for adjusting to the changes that impact our industry; and
2. evaluate, develop and implement the highest-priority MIST strategies to support “The Global Renaissance of District Energy.”

To that end, Rob Thornton and the IDEA staff met with me for a full-day session in early August to begin this effort. I want to assure our members that you have a very impressive, enthusiastic, committed and talented team that is working diligently on your behalf to stay ahead of many changes that can impact our industry while focusing on increasing our value to our members. I am pleased to report that we were able to complete a full review of IDEA initiatives at various stages of both development and implementation that address each of the MIST strategies and more. Updates on the details of these initiatives will be reported in the future to describe how they support the strategic goals of IDEA, “The Global Renaissance of District Energy” and MIST core strategies.

Significant progress has been made to communicate to industry stakeholders the value of integrating district energy and CHP into microgrids to efficiently and economically increase resiliency for our local communities. To continue educating the industry, IDEA and the Microgrid Resources Coalition are holding a conference in Baltimore Oct. 29-31, Microgrid 2.0: “Advancing Industry Growth,” focusing on practical, real-world microgrid solutions.

MIST core strategies include international information exchange and technology transfer, and the upcoming IDEA conference in Dubai, DistrictCooling2018: “Efficient Energy for Smarter Cities,” will provide opportunities to share best practices and innovative approaches to district cooling. The conference will be held at the Atlantis, The Palm resort Dec. 9-11. Professionals from across the Gulf region, North America, Europe and Asia Pacific will be in attendance. The United Nations Environment Programme’s District Energy in Cities Initiative has identified district cooling as a key strategy to improve efficiency, reduce emissions, conserve water and support sustainable economic development. Dubai is a great example illustrating this strategy deployed in an extraordinary way.

These conferences provide an excellent opportunity to network with your peers, meet with equipment suppliers, learn from consultants and engineers, be educated on proposed and current legislation and other industry programs, tour facilities of operating systems and talk to the owners and operators to hear about the real-life experiences. Don’t miss these great opportunities, and I hope to see you at both conferences.