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Call on efficient energy systems – Experts discuss strategies on the first day of International District Energy Association (IDEA) District Cooling Conference and Tradeshow

Energy experts discussed the potential for new ground-breaking solutions in district cooling on the first day of the International District Energy Association (IDEA) District Cooling Conference and Tradeshow which has been started today (Monday, 10 December 2018) at Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai and will conclude tomorrow (Tuesday, 11 December 2018).

Witnessing the presence of key experts in the industry, the conference commenced with opening remarks from Rob Thornton, President & CEO, IDEA and a welcome note by – Ahmad Bin Shafar, CEO, Empower.

“In today’s time, where climate change is a growing concern, district cooling solution is the need of the hour. It not only helps to build a sustainable future, but also establishes an environment conducive to energy-efficient business management system. We are confident that the conference this year will not only serve as a platform to exchange experiences and best practices but also present a more efficient plan for states and governments to implement district cooling as a futuristic solution for a sustainable living,” said Ahmad Bin Shafar, CEO of Empower.

The conference commenced with a Plenary Panel Discussion held under the theme – “Efficient Energy for Smarter Cities”, with senior industry executives sharing perspectives on district cooling for more sustainable and resilient  cities. Spearheaded by Robert Thornton, the discussion featured panelists as Ahmad Bin Shafar, CEO, Empower; Jim Lodge, Vice President, Clearway Energy, Werner Lutsch, CEO, AGFW; Adib Moubadde, CEO, Emicool; Tom Nyquist, Executive Director of Utilities, Princeton University; Juan Ontiveros, Assistant Vice President, Utilities, University of Texas at Austin; Michael Schack, Director Networks & Cogeneration, ENGIE and Abdul Salam Al Mobayad, CEO, Saudi Tabreed Operation.

Rob Thornton, President and CEO, IDEA, said: “IDEA is pleased to be organizing another district cooling conference here in Dubai.  We have assembled experts from across North America, Europe, Middle East and Asia Pacific to share experiences in design, construction, operation and optimization of district cooling systems for cities, communities, and campuses. As cities become more densely populated, especially in warmer climates, the   economies of scale and efficiencies of district cooling systems help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduce strain on the regional electricity grid.  Efficient district cooling infrastructure is becoming the standard for tomorrow’s smarter cities. Dubai is arguably the world’s leading city for district cooling deployment.”

The subsequent session focused on Operational Excellence – Global Best Practices and Strategies. Highlighting the importance of design and technology, the session featured innovative best practices and proven tools and techniques that result in operational excellence, optimized use of energy and water and quality of service. Spearheaded by Laxmi Rao from IDEA, the session witnessed the presence of experts from different companies.

Finance was also a key topic of discussion after the conversation on the key elements, technology and design at the conference.  Spearheaded by Rob Thornton from IDEA, this session held under the theme “Financing the District Energy Enterprise”, focused on availability of both short-term and long-term sources of capital to develop district cooling systems.  It also featured discussion on key insights for seeking finance as well as on how to manage and optimize funds flow over the changing needs of project’s lifecycle, featuring leaders in the regional banking, finance and district energy sectors.

In addition, the conference also discussed strategies for Exposing the Full Value of District Energy, Extending the Opportunity for District Cooling, Design & Data Challenges for Performance Excellence as well as Smart Approaches for Metering, Controls and Optimization. The day one of the conference ended on a high note with a gala dinner.

Empower currently operates over 1.34 Million RT, providing environmentally responsible district cooling services to large-scale real estate developments, such as Jumeirah Group, Jumeirah Beach Residence, Dubai International Financial Centre, Business Bay, Dubai Healthcare City, Jumeirah Lake Towers, Palm Jumeirah, Discovery Gardens, Ibn Battuta Mall, Dubai Design District and International Media Production Zone, among others.

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