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GSR 2015

248 GLOSSARY RENEWABLE ENERGY CERTIFICATE (REC). A certificate awarded to certify the generation of one unit of renewable energy (typically 1 MWh of electricity but also less commonly of heat). In systems based on RECs, certificates can be accumulated to meet renewable energy obligations and also provide a tool for trading among consumers and/or producers. They also are a means of enabling purchases of voluntary green energy. RENEWABLE ENERGY TARGET. An official commitment, plan, or goal set by a government (at the local, state, national, or regional level) to achieve a certain amount of renewable energy by a future date. Targets may be backed by specific compliance mechanisms or policy support measures. Some targets are legislated while others are set by regulatory agencies, ministries, or public officials. RENEWABLE PORTFOLIO STANDARD (RPS). An obligation placed by a government on a utility company, group of companies, or consumers to provide or use a predetermined minimum targeted renewable share of installed capacity, or of electricity or heat generated or sold. A penalty may or may not exist for non-compliance. These policies also are known as “renewable electricity standards”, “renewable obligations”, and “mandated market shares”, depending on the jurisdiction. REVERSE AUCTION. (See Tendering.) SMART ENERGY SYSTEM. A smart energy system aims to optimise the overall efficiency and balance of a range of interconnected energy technologies and processes, both electrical and non- electrical(includingheat,gas,andfuels).Thisisachievedthrough dynamic demand- and supply-side management; enhanced monitoring of electrical, thermal, and fuel-based system assets; control and optimisation of consumer equipment, appliances, and services; better integration of distributed energy (on both the macro and micro scales); as well as cost minimisation for both suppliers and consumers. SMART GRID. Electrical grid that uses information and communications technology to co-ordinate the needs and capabilities of the generators, grid operators, end-users, and electricity market stakeholders in a system, with the aim of operating all parts as efficiently as possible, minimising costs and environmental impacts, and maximising system reliability, resilience, and stability. SOLAR COLLECTOR. A device used for converting solar energy to thermal energy (heat), typically used for domestic water heating but also used for space heating, industrial process heat, or to drive thermal cooling machines. Evacuated tube and flat-plate collectors that operate with water or a water/glycol mixture as the heat-transfer medium are the most common solar thermal collectors used worldwide. These are referred to as glazed water collectors because irradiation from the sun first hits a glazing (for thermal insulation) before the energy is converted to heat and transported away by the heat transfer medium. Unglazed water collectors, often referred to as swimming pool absorbers, are simple collectors made of plastics and used for lower- temperature applications. Unglazed and glazed air collectors use air rather than water as the heat-transfer medium to heat indoor spaces, or to pre-heat drying air or combustion air for agriculture and industry purposes. SOLAR HOME SYSTEM (SHS). A stand-alone system composed of a low power photovoltaic module, battery, and sometimes a charge controller, that can power small electric devices and provide modest amounts of electricity to homes for lighting and radios, usually in rural or remote regions that are not connected to the electricity grid. SOLAR PHOTOVOLTAICS (PV). A technology used for converting solar radiation (light) into electricity. PV cells are constructed from semi-conducting materials that use sunlight to separate electrons from atoms to create an electric current. Modules are formed by interconnecting individual solar PV cells. Monocrystalline modules are more efficient but relatively more expensive than polycrystalline silicon modules. Thin film solar PV materials can be applied as flexible films laid over existing surfaces or integrated with building components such as roof tiles. Building-integrated PV (BIPV) generates electricity and replaces conventional materials in parts of a building envelope, such as the roof or façade. Bifacial PV modules are double-sided panels that generate electricity with sunlight received on both sides (direct and reflected) and are used primarily in the BIPV sector. SOLAR PHOTOVOLTAIC-THERMAL (PV-T). Solar PV-thermal hybrid system that includes solar thermal collectors mounted beneath PV modules to convert solar radiation into electrical and thermal energy. The solar thermal collector removes waste heat from the PV module, enabling it to operate more efficiently. SOLAR PICO SYSTEM (SPS). A very small solar PV system—such as a solar lamp or an information and communication technology (ICT) appliance—with a power output of 1–10 W that typically has a voltage up to 12 volt. SOLAR WATER HEATER (SWH). An entire system consisting of a solar collector, storage tank, water pipes, and other components. There are two types of solar water heaters: pumped solar water heaters use mechanical pumps to circulate a heat transfer fluid through the collector loop (active systems), whereas thermosyphon solar water heaters make use of buoyancy forces caused by natural convection (passive systems). SUBSIDIES. Government measures that artificially reduce the price that consumers pay for energy or reduce production costs. TENDERING. (also called auction/reverse auction or tender). A procurement mechanism by which renewable energy supply or capacity is competitively solicited from sellers, who offer bids at the lowest price that they would be willing to accept. Bids may be evaluated on both price and non-price factors. TORREFIED WOOD.Solidfuel,oftenintheformofpellets,produced by heating wood to 200–300 °C in restricted air conditions. It has useful characteristics for a solid fuel including relatively high energy density, good grindability into pulverised fuel, and water repellency. WATT. A unit of power that measures the rate of energy conversion or transfer. A kilowatt is equal to one thousand (103 ) Watts; a megawatt to one million (106 ) Watts; and so on. A megawatt electrical (MW) is used to refer to electric power, whereas a megawatt-thermal (MWth) refers to thermal/heat energy produced. Power is the rate at which energy is consumed or generated. A kilowatt-hour is the amount of energy equivalent to steady power of 1 kW operating for one hour. YIELD COMPANY (YIELDCO). Renewable energy yieldcos are publicly traded financial vehicles created when power com- panies spin off their renewable power assets into separate, high- yielding entities. They are formed to reduce risk and volatility, and to increase capital and dividends. Shares are backed by completed renewable energy projects with long-term power purchase agreements in place to deliver dividends to investors. They attract new types of investors who prefer low-risk and dividend-like yields, and those who wish to invest in renewable projects specifically. The capital raised is used to pay off debt or to finance new projects at lower rates than those available through tax equity finance. BACK

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