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Blog Entry
President's Message 4th Quarter 2018

Many people know IDEA from attending our conferences. Of course, when you do something for 109 years running, you would hope to build a solid reputation. I am proud of the effort our team puts into planning and executing our conferences and workshops. They may look like a duck gliding across the...


Blog Entry
President's Message 3rd Quarter 2018

From District Energy Magazine, Third Quarter, 2018 The theme for IDEA2018 in Vancouver was “Local Solutions, Global Impact,” and the outcome of the 109th annual conference clearly bore that out. Nearly 800 attendees from 22 countries, six provinces, 37 states and 256 cities provided a range...

Robert Thornton's profile image

Blog Entry
President's Message 1st Quarter 2018

One area that has long frustrated me, and many others in IDEA, has been the treatment of and consideration for district energy and combined heat and power in U.S. military base installations. Time and again, we have heard of bases electing to disaggregate district heating systems as part of an...

Robert Thornton's profile image

Blog Entry
President's Message 4th Quarter 2017

Ben Franklin’s axiom that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” still rings true today. As I write this column, communities across coastal Texas and Florida are just beginning to recover from record winds and flooding inflicted by hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Puerto Rico is facing...

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Blog Entry
President's Message 3rd Quarter 2017

One outcome of the United States federal government’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement is a resurgence of efforts by cities and states to step up their investments in more energy-efficient and sustainable solutions. Compared to our elected officials in Washington, mayors and...

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Blog Entry
President's Message 1st Quarter 2017

From District Energy Magazine, First Quarter, 2017 What can we learn about energy sustainability and resiliency by returning to college? Why is it that college and university campuses are often cited as the best examples of community energy efficiency, and what can they teach our...


Blog Entry
President's Message 4th Quarter 2016

From District Energy Magazine, Fourth Quarter, 2016 As we head into the fourth quarter of 2016, there are some pretty obvious trends at work in the U.S. energy industry. One, coal use is in rapid decline, especially at U.S. colleges and universities. Two, the era of large, remote central...


Blog Entry
President's Message 2nd Quarter 2016

From District Energy Magazine, Second Quarter, 2016 Whenever I fly out of a city at night, I often gaze out the airplane window at the ex­pansive canvas of lights twinkling below. The elec­tricity grid outlines the streets and thorough­fares, connecting homes with commercial cen­ters,...


Blog Entry
President's Message 3rd Quarter 2016

From District Energy Magazine, Third Quarter, 2016 As we experienced together in St. Paul at the recent IDEA Annual Con­ference and Trade Show, the district energy industry is actively engaged in change and seeking to acceler­ate the shift toward more distributed energy solutions for...


Blog Entry
President's Message 1st Quarter 2016

From District Energy Magazine, First Quarter, 2016 The United Nations 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) was the largest single gathering of countries in recorded history. Never before have so many heads of state come together collectively to address a single issue. The two-week...