Table of Contents
Renewable energy is a rapidly growing field that includes various technologies and concepts..
Here is a glossary of common terms and acronyms used in the renewable energy industry:
1. Renewable energy – Energy sources derived from naturally replenishing sources that can be sustained over time, such as wind, solar, hydro, geothermal, and biomass.
2. Solar photovoltaic (PV) – A technology that converts sunlight into electricity through the use of solar cells. It usually operates with panels known as solar panels.
3. Wind energy – Energy derived from the wind through the use of wind turbines.
4. Hydropower – Energy generated from moving water, such as dams or flowing rivers.
5. Geothermal energy – Energy derived from the Earth’s heat.
6. Biomass – Organic material derived from plants or animals that can be used to generate energy.
7. Net metering – A billing arrangement that allows customers to sell excess energy produced by their renewable energy system back to the grid.
8. Feed-in tariff (FIT) – A policy mechanism that guarantees a fixed price for renewable energy fed back into the grid.
9. Power purchase agreement (PPA) – A contract between a renewable energy generator and a buyer to sell electricity.
10. Renewable portfolio standard (RPS) – A policy mechanism requiring a certain percentage of a state’s electricity from renewable sources.
11. Renewable Energy storage – Technology used to store energy for later use, such as batteries or pumped hydro storage.
12. Offshore wind – Wind turbines located in bodies of water, typically the ocean.
13. Concentrated solar power (CSP) – A technology that uses mirrors or lenses to focus sunlight onto a small area to generate heat, which can then be used to produce electricity.
14. Distributed energy resources (DERs) – Small-scale power generation and storage technologies located close to where the energy is used, such as solar panels on residential rooftops.
15. Microgrid – A local energy system that can operate independently from the larger grid, typically powered by renewable energy sources and energy storage.
16. Carbon offset – A credit that can be purchased to offset carbon emissions by supporting projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
17. Renewable energy certificate (REC) – A tradable certificate represents proof that one megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity was generated from a renewable energy source.
18. Green energy is generated from renewable sources with a lower environmental impact than traditional fossil fuels.
19. Clean energy – Energy generated from renewable sources with low or no carbon footprint and not emitting harmful pollutants.
Energy efficiency refers to the practice of using less energy to achieve the same level of output or performance.
Here is a glossary of common terms and acronyms used in the energy efficiency industry:
20. Energy efficiency – The practice of using less energy to achieve the same level of output or performance.
21. Energy audit – A process that evaluates the energy efficiency of a building, system, or process, and provides recommendations for improvements.
22. Energy management system (EMS) – A system that optimizes the energy consumption of a building or facility by monitoring and controlling energy use.
23. Energy Star – A program run by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that certifies products that meet energy efficiency standards.
24. HVAC – Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems that regulate indoor temperature and air quality.
25. LED – Light-emitting diodes that consume less energy than traditional light bulbs and have a longer lifespan.
26. Smart grid – An electricity grid that uses digital technology to optimize energy consumption and reduce waste.
27. Energy recovery ventilation (ERV) – A system that recovers heat or coolness from exhaust air to condition incoming fresh air.
28. Building envelope – The exterior walls, roof, windows, and doors of a building that separate the indoor environment from the outdoor environment.
29. Passive solar design – A building design that uses the sun’s energy to heat and cool the building naturally.
30. Programmable thermostat – A thermostat that can be programmed to adjust the temperature of a building according to a schedule.
31. Energy-efficient appliances – Appliances that consume less energy than traditional models while still providing the same level of performance.
32. Co-generation – The simultaneous production of electricity and useful heat or cooling from the same energy source.
33. Energy-efficient building codes – Regulations that set minimum energy efficiency standards for new and renovated buildings.
34. Green building – A building that is designed, constructed, and operated in an environmentally friendly and energy-efficient manner.
35. Demand response – A system that incentivizes energy users to reduce their energy consumption during periods of peak demand.
36. Net-zero energy building – A building that produces as much energy as it consumes over the course of a year.
37. Carbon footprint – The amount of greenhouse gas emissions a person, organization, or product produces.
38. Life-cycle costing (LCC) – A method of evaluating the total cost of owning and operating a product or system over its entire lifespan, including energy consumption and maintenance costs.
39. Energy-efficient financing – Financing options that provide incentives or lower interest rates for energy-efficient upgrades or purchases.
40. Small-scale Solar (SSS)– Small-scale category includes PV systems with less than one megawatt (MW) generating capacity. Such systems are usually installed at or near residential, commercial, or industrial customer sites.
41. Large-scale Solar (LSS)– Large-scale solar (LSS) is a solar farm that can generate hundreds of kilowatts to thousands of megawatts of solar power. Other terms used for LSS include solar power plants and utility-scale solar.
42. Clean Energy Council (CEC)– The Clean Energy Council provides guides and information for consumers to help in their decision to purchase solar and battery storage systems in Australia.
Victoria and New South Wales (NSW) energy schemes
Victoria and New South Wales (NSW) have energy schemes in place to encourage the adoption of renewable energy technologies and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Here is a glossary of common terms and acronyms used in these energy schemes:
1. Victorian Energy Upgrades (VEU) program – A program that provides financial incentives to households and businesses that install energy-efficient products, such as LED lighting and efficient heating and cooling systems.
2. Victorian Renewable Energy Target (VRET) – A target to achieve 50% renewable energy by 2030 in Victoria.
3. Solar Homes program – A program that provides rebates for solar panel systems for eligible Victorian households.
4. Feed-in tariff (FIT) – A policy mechanism that guarantees a fixed price for renewable energy fed back into the grid.
5. Smart meters – Digital meters that measure and record electricity usage and provide information to consumers on their energy consumption.
6. GreenPower – A program that enables customers to purchase renewable energy from accredited sources.
7. Victorian Energy Compare – An online tool that helps consumers compare electricity plans and find the best energy deals.
8. Energy Safe Victoria – A regulatory body responsible for regulating gas and electricity safety in Victoria.
New South Wales
9. Energy Savings Scheme (ESS) – A program that provides financial incentives to households and businesses that implement energy-efficient projects and products, such as LED lighting and efficient heating and cooling systems.
10. NSW Renewable Energy Target (RET) – A target to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 in New South Wales.
11. Solar for Low Income Households trial – A trial program that provides no-interest loans for solar panel systems to elig ible low-income households.
12. Net metering – A billing arrangement that allows customers to sell excess energy produced by their renewable energy system back to the grid.
13. Demand response – A system that incentivizes energy users to reduce their energy consumption during periods of peak demand.
14. NSW Energy Savings Scheme Registry – A system that records and tracks energy savings and certificates generated by the ESS program.
Carbon credits are a type of tradable permit that allows organizations to offset their greenhouse gas emissions by financing projects that reduce emissions elsewhere.
Here is a glossary of common terms and acronyms used in the carbon credits industry:
15. Carbon credits – Tradable permits that represent a reduction of one ton of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions.
16. Carbon offset – A mechanism that allows organizations to compensate for their emissions by financing projects that reduce emissions elsewhere.
17. Verified Carbon Standard (VCS) – A standard that sets criteria for the verification and certification of carbon offset projects.
18. Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) – A mechanism under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that allows developed countries to finance emissions reduction projects in developing countries and earn carbon credits.
19. Additionality – The concept that a carbon offset project must result in emissions reductions that are additional to what would have happened in the absence of the project.
20. Co-benefits – The additional benefits that a carbon offset project may provide, such as improved air or water quality, job creation, or community development.
21. Kyoto Protocol – An international treaty under the UNFCCC that sets binding emissions reduction targets for developed countries and established the CDM.
22. Carbon footprint – The total amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced by an individual, organization, or product.
23. Carbon offset provider – A company or organization that facilitates the purchase of carbon credits on behalf of organizations or individuals.
24. Carbon neutral – The state of having net zero greenhouse gas emissions by balancing emissions with carbon offsets or other emissions reduction strategies.
25. Permanent carbon sequestration – The capture and storage of carbon dioxide in a manner that prevents it from entering the atmosphere permanently.
26. Emissions reduction project – A project that reduces greenhouse gas emissions by improving energy efficiency, transitioning to renewable energy, or adopting other emissions reduction strategies.