Please activate JavaScript!
Please install Adobe Flash Player, click here for download

GSR 2015

247RENEWABLES 2015 GLOBAL STATUS REPORT G HYDROTREATED VEGETABLE OIL (HVO). A “drop-in” biofuel produced by using hydrogen to remove oxygen from waste cooking oils, fats, and vegetable oils. The result is a hydrocarbon fuel that blends more easily with diesel and jet fuel than does biodiesel produced from triglycerides as fatty acid methyl esters (FAME). INVERTER. (and micro-inverter). Inverters convert the direct current (DC) generated by solar PV modules to alternating current (AC), which can be fed into the electric grid or used by a local, off-grid network. Conventional string and central solar inverters are connected to multiple modules to create an array that effectively is a single large panel. By contrast, micro- inverters convert generation from individual solar PV modules; the output of several micro-inverters is combined and often fed into the electric grid. A primary advantage of micro-inverters is that they isolate and tune the output of individual panels, reducing the effects that shading or failure of any one (or more) module(s) has on the output of an entire array. They eliminate some design issues inherent to larger systems and allow for new modules to be added as needed. INVESTMENT. Purchase of an item of value with an expectation of favourable future returns. In this report, new investment in renewable energy refers to investment in: technology research and development, commercialisation, construction of manufacturing facilities, and project development (including construction of wind farms, purchase and installation of solar PV systems). Total investment refers to new investment plus merger and acquisition (M&A) activity (the refinancing and sale of companies and projects). INVESTMENT TAX CREDIT.Afiscalincentivethatallowsinvestments in renewable energy to be fully or partially credited against the tax obligations of a project developer, industry, building owner, etc. JOULE. A Joule (J) is a unit of work or energy equal to the energy expended to produce one Watt of power for one second. The potential chemical energy stored in one barrel of oil and released when combusted is approximately 6 gigajoules (GJ); a tonne of oven dry wood contains around 20 GJ of energy. LEVELISED COST OF ENERGY (LCOE). The unique cost price of energy outputs (e.g., USD per kWh or USD per GJ) of a project that makes the present value of the revenues equal to the present value of the costs over the lifetime of the project. MANDATE/OBLIGATION. A measure that requires designated parties (consumers, suppliers, generators) to meet a minimum, and often gradually increasing, target for renewable energy, such as a percentage of total supply, a stated amount of capacity, or the required use of a specified renewable technology. Costs are generally borne by consumers. Mandates can include renewable portfolio standards (RPS); building codes or obligations that require the installation of renewable heat or power technologies (often in combination with energy efficiency investments); renewable heat purchase requirements; and requirements for blending specified shares of biofuels (biodiesel or bioethanol) into transport fuel. MARKET CONCESSION MODEL. A model in which a private company or NGO is selected through a competitive process and given the exclusive obligation to provide energy services to customers in its service territory, upon customer request. The concession approach allows concessionaires to select the most appropriate and cost-effective technology for a given situation. MERIT ORDER. A way of ranking available sources of energy (particularly electricity generation) in ascending order based on short-run marginal costs of production, such that those with the lowest marginal costs are the first ones brought on line to meet demand, and those with the highest are brought on last. The merit-order effect is a shift of market prices along the merit-order or supply curve due to market entry of power stations with lower variable costs (marginal costs). This displaces power stations with the highest production costs from the market (assuming demand is unchanged), and admits lower-priced electricity into the market. MICRO-GRIDS. These are similar to mini-grids, but there is no universal definition differentiating the two (see Mini-grids). For distributed renewable energy in developing countries, micro- grids typically refer to independent grid networks operating on a scale of 1–10 kW. In the United States, for example, micro- grids also refer to larger networks (up to several MW) that can operate independently of, or in conjunction with, an area’s main power grid. They can be intended as backup power or to bolster main grid power during periods of heavy demand. They often are used to reduce costs, enhance reliability, and/or as a means of incorporating renewable energy. MINI-GRIDS. Grids that provide small-scale generation (10 kW to 10 MW) and distribution of grid-quality electricity to a relatively small and concentrated group of customers, most commonly in remote areas. They are often managed locally, and can operate with or without interconnection to the wider external transmission grid. NET METERING / NET BILLING. A regulated arrangement in which utility customers with onsite electricity generators can receive credits for excess generation, which can be applied to offset consumption. Under net metering, customers typically receive credit at the level of the retail electricity price. Under net billing, customers typically receive credit for excess power at a rate that is lower than the retail electricity price. Different jurisdictions may apply these terms in different ways, however. OCEAN ENERGY. Energy captured from ocean waves, tides, currents, salinity gradients, and ocean temperature differences. Wave energy converters capture the energy of ocean waves to generate electricity; tidal stream generators use kinetic energy of tidal currents to power turbines; and tidal barrages are essentially dams that cross tidal estuaries and capture energy as tides ebb and flow. POWER. The rate at which energy is converted, expressed in Watts (Joules/second). PRODUCTION TAX CREDIT. A tax incentive that provides the investor or owner of a qualifying property or facility with a tax credit based on the amount of renewable energy (electricity, heat, or biofuel) generated by that facility. PUBLIC FINANCING. A type of financial support mechanism whereby governments provide assistance, often in the form of grants or loans, to support the development or deployment of renewable energy technologies. PUMPED STORAGE HYDROPOWER. Plants that pump water from a lower reservoir to a higher storage basin using surplus electricity, and that reverse the flow to generate electricity when needed. They are not energy sources but means of energy storage and can have overall system efficiencies of around 80–90%. REGULATORY POLICY. A rule to guide or control the conduct of those to whom it applies. In the renewable energy context, examples include mandates or quotas such as renewable portfolio standards, feed-in tariffs, and technology/fuel specific obligations. BACK

Pages Overview