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GSR 2015

246 GLOSSARY into it. For example, the conversion efficiency of a solar PV module is the ratio between the electricity generated and the total solar energy received by the solar PV module. If 100 kWh of solar radiation is received and 10 kWh electricity is generated, the conversion efficiency is 10%. CROWDFUNDING. The practice of funding a project or venture by raising money—often relatively small individual amounts— from a relatively large number of people (“crowd”), generally using the Internet and social media. The money raised through crowdfunding does not necessarily buy the lender a share in the venture, and there is no guarantee that money will be repaid if the venture is successful. However, some types of crowdfunding reward backers with an equity stake, structured payments, and/ or other products. DEGRESSION. A mechanism built into policy design establishing automatic downwards rate revisions, which can occur after specific thresholds are crossed (e.g., after a certain amount of capacity is contracted, or a certain amount of time passes). DISTRIBUTED RENEWABLE ENERGY.Energysystemsareconsidered to be distributed if 1) the systems of production are relatively small and dispersed (such as small-scale solar PV on rooftops), rather than relatively large and centralised; or 2) generation and distribution occur independently from a centralised network. Specifically for the purpose of the section on Distributed Renewable Energy in Developing Countries, “distributed renewable energy” meets both conditions. It includes energy services for electrification, cooking, heating, and cooling that are generated and distributed independent of any centralised system, in urban and rural areas of the developing world. ENERGIEWENDE. German term that means “transformation of the energy system”. It refers to the move away from nuclear and fossil fuels towards an energy system based primarily on energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy. ENERGY. The ability to do work, which comes in a number of forms including thermal, radiant, kinetic, chemical, potential, and electrical. ENERGY, FINAL. The part of primary energy, after deduction of losses from conversion, transmission, and distribution, that reaches the consumer and is available to provide heating, hot water, lighting, and other services. Final energy forms include electricity, district heating, mechanical energy, liquid hydrocarbons such as kerosene or fuel oil, and various gaseous fuels such as natural gas, biogas, and hydrogen. Final energy accounts only for the conversion losses that occur upstream of the end-user, such as losses at refineries and power plants. ENERGY, PRIMARY. The theoretically available energy content of a naturally occurring energy source (such as coal, oil, natural gas, uranium ore, geothermal, and biomass energy, etc.) before it undergoes conversion to useful final energy delivered to the end-user. Conversion of primary energy into other forms of useful final energy (such as electricity and fuels) entails losses. Some primary energy is consumed at the end-user level as final energy without any prior conversion. ENERGY INTENSITY. Primary energy consumption per unit of economic output. Energy intensity is typically used as a proxy for energy efficiency in macro-level analyses due to the lack of an internationally agreed-upon high-level indicator for measuring energy efficiency. ENERGY SERVICE COMPANY (ESCO). A company that provides a range of energy solutions including selling the energy services from a (renewable) energy system on a long-term basis while retaining ownership of the system, collecting regular payments from customers, and providing necessary maintenance service. An ESCO can be an electric utility, co-operative, NGO, or private company, and typically installs energy systems on or near customer sites. An ESCO also can advise on improving the energy efficiency of systems (such as a building or an industry) as well as methods for energy conservation and energy management. ETHANOL (FUEL). A liquid fuel made from biomass (typically corn, sugar cane, or small cereals/grains) that can replace gasoline in modest percentages for use in ordinary spark-ignition engines (stationary or in vehicles), or that can be used at higher blend levels (usually up to 85% ethanol, or 100% in Brazil) in slightly modified engines such as those provided in “flex-fuel” vehicles. Ethanol is also used in chemical and beverage industries. FEED-IN POLICY (FEED-IN TARIFF OR FEED-IN PREMIUM). A policy that typically guarantees renewable generators specified payments per unit (e.g., USD/kWh) over a fixed period. Feed-in tariff policies may also establish regulations by which generators can interconnect and sell power to the grid. Numerous options exist for defining the level of incentive, such as whether the payment is structured as a guaranteed minimum price (e.g., a feed-in tariff), or whether the payment floats on top of the wholesale electricity price (e.g., a feed-in premium). FISCAL INCENTIVE. An incentive that provides individuals, households, or companies with a reduction in their contribution to the public treasury via income or other taxes. GENERATION. The process of converting energy into electricity and/or useful heat from a primary energy source such as wind, solar radiation, natural gas, biomass, etc. GEOTHERMAL ENERGY. Heat energy emitted from within the earth’s crust, usually in the form of hot water and steam. It can be used to generate electricity in a thermal power plant or to provide heat directly at various temperatures. GREEN ENERGY PURCHASING. Voluntary purchase of renewable energy—usually electricity, but also heat and transport fuels—by residential, commercial, government, or industrial consumers, either directly from an energy trader or utility company, from a third-party renewable energy generator, or indirectly via trading of renewable energy certificates (such as renewable energy credits, green tags, and guarantees of origin). It can create additional demand for renewable capacity and/or generation, often going beyond that resulting from government support policies or obligations. HEAT PUMP. A device that transfers heat from a heat source to a heat sink using a refrigeration cycle that is driven by external electric or thermal energy. It can use the ground (geothermal), the surrounding air (aerothermal/air-source), or a body of water (hydrothermal/water-source) as a heat source in heating mode, and as a heat sink in cooling mode. A heat pump’s final energy output can be several multiples of the energy input, depending on its inherent efficiency and operating conditions. The output of a heat pump is at least partially renewable on a final energy basis. However, the renewable component can be much lower on a primary energy basis, depending on the composition and derivation of the input energy; in the case of electricity, this includes the efficiency of the power generation process. The output of a heat pump can be fully renewable energy if the input energy is also fully renewable. HYDROPOWER. Electricity derived from the potential energy of water captured when moving from higher to lower elevations. Categories of hydropower projects include run-of-river, reservoir-based capacity, and low-head in-stream technology (the least developed). Hydropower covers a continuum in project scale from large (often defined as more than 10 MW of installed capacity, but the definition varies by country) to small, mini, micro, and pico. BACK

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