Case study shows obstacles to district energy in the US

A new report released by research organisation Northeast/Midwest Institute in the US has highlighted the benefits of district energy and CHP but also illustrated obstacles to more widespread adoption.

The report, “New Energy for Older Cities: District Energy, Combined Heat and Power, and the Northeast-Midwest Region’s Older Industrial Cities,” explored the potential for CHP and District Energy in these cities and includes a case study from Cleveland, Ohio.

Medical Centre, Ohio
The report explains the opportunities that DE/CHP systems can afford older industrial cities; describes the policy context surrounding DE/CHP development; and suggests policy changes that would best facilitate the wider adoption of DE/CHP.

Obstacles noted include: problems associated with connecting to utilities; financial and market-related barriers; federal and state policy shortcomings and stipulations; and a general lack of understanding about DE/CHP.

Medical Center Company (MCCo) is presented as a real-world example of the benefits of and obstacles to DE/CHP in older industrial cities. MCCo is a non-profit DE provider in the University Circle area of Cleveland, Ohio

The report concludes that by including more broadly applicable financing options and technical assistance; mutually-beneficial agreements between utility companies and owners of DE/CHP systems; and greater education and information about this approach to energy generation and distribution, a more positive outcome can be encouraged.

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