rss

Glossary

AC: Alternating current. Electricity flowing in two directions invented by genius and synaesthesiac Nikola Tesla

ACCC: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

ACCUs: Australian Carbon Credit units

AEMC: Australian Energy Market Commission. Makes the rules for the electricity and gas markets

AEMO: Australian Energy Market Operator. Manages the NEM

AER: Australian Energy Regulator. Enforces the rules of the NEM

AFV: Alternative Fuel Vehicle

AGL Energy: Gentailer, Distribution and transmission company

AGR: Gas Cooled Reactor. A nuclear power technology

amp: Ampere electrical measurement unit. Describes the volume of electricity moving down a wire. When multiplied by the Volts (the electrical “pressure”) you get Watts

Ancillary Services: The market operator AEMO uses these so-called services to control the wellbeing of the grid. They are very well explained in their publication “Guide to Ancillary Services in the National Electricity Market”

Anthropogenic: Man-made. (as in global warming) APA Group: Australia’s biggest gas pipeline operator

ARENA: Australian Renewable Energy Agency. A government body who are a major funder of emerging renewable projects

Aurora Energy: Energy distribution and transmission company, TAS

AusGrid: State owned distribution and transmission company, NSW

AusNet Services: Regulated energy networks owner, VIC

AWES: Airborne Wind Energy System. Wind power without the towers and rotors. New technology under development

Baseload power: In the traditional model a level of generation that runs all the time supplemented by peaking power

BAU: Business As Usual, “same old”

Behind The Meter: Resources like batteries, solar panels or control systems that are located in customers homes or businesses and lie outside the traditional reach of the network.

BESS: Battery Energy Storage System.

Black Start: Full grid reboot.

Black System or System Black: Major failure of the grid to deliver electricity

BOE: Barrels of Oil Equivalent. A measure of energy

Brown Coal: The Lowest rank of coal unsuitable for export. Accounts for most of Victoria’s power generation

BTEX: Benzene Toluene Ethylbenzene Xylenes. A fluid used in Fracking now banned in many states of Australia

BTU: British Thermal Unit. 1 BTU is the energy needed to move 1 pound of water 1 degree Fahrenheit

BWR: Boiling Water Reactor. A nuclear power technology

BZE: Beyond Zero Emissions. Research organization

CAA: Clean Air Act. Influential US environmental legislation CAPEX: Capital expenditure

CCA: Climate Change Authority. Australian government agency

CCGT: Combined Cycle Gas Turbine. (base load or intermediate gas)

CCS: Carbon Capture and Sequestration or storage.

CEC: California Energy Commission

CEC: Clean Energy Council. Peak body for the clean energy industry in Australia

CEDA: The Committee for Economic Development of Australia

CEEM: The Centre for Energy and Environmental Markets at UNSW

CEFC: The Clean Energy Finance Corporation. Invests commercially to increase the flow of funds into renewable energy, energy efficiency and low emissions technologies

CER: Clean Energy Regulator. Administers the RET Renewable Energy Target schemes

CET: Clean Energy Target. A major recommendation of the Finkel review

CFD: Contract For Difference. A financial instrument as in ACT reverse auctions Citipower: Electricity supplier VIC

Clean coal: A marketing term used to describe new coal technologies that are slightly less polluting (20%) than the current coal generators but still worse than the dirtiest gas plant

Co2: Carbon dioxide. The principle man made greenhouse gas

CO2CRC: The Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies COAG: Council of Australian Governments

COAL21 FUND: Operated by ACA Low Emissions Technologies Ltd (ACALET). Promotes the interests of the coal industry funded by a levy on producers

COC: Cost of Capital

Coking coal: Also known as Metallurgical coal, provides the carbon for making steel

COP21: The 21st Conference of the Parties to the Paris Agreement

CPV: Concentrator Photovoltaics. Optics focus light onto high efficiency PV cells

CSG: Coal Seam Gas or natural gas, mostly Methane

CST: Concentrated Solar Thermal. The sun heats a fluid to drive a turbine, the fluid can be stored for later use

DC: Direct Current. Electricity that flows in one direction, what comes out of solar panels and batteries developed by Thomas Edison the elephant killer

DCLM: Direct Control Load Management. Where the utility company can control the consumer load directly. For example turn off your hot water for a short period to better manage loads on the grid this ability negates the requirement for more generating capacity with little or no impact on the consumer

DEA: Doctors for the Environment Australia

Dead band: Fluctuations in steady state turbine speed that are not the result of control inputs

Delta Control: Fast secondary reserve derived from manipulating the pitch control of a wind turbine

DER: Distributed Energy Resources. For example battery storage, demand response, standalone power systems, micro grids

Dispatchable Power: Power available at short notice
DoD: Depth of Discharge. Refers to how much energy you take out of a battery before recharging it, can affect the life of some types of batteries

DSM: Demand Side Management, influencing or controlling demand as opposed to supply DUET Group: Gas and power grid owner

ECA: Energy Consumers Australia. Advocates of residential and small business energy interests ECIU: Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit. UK not for profit

EIS: Emissions Intensity Scheme

EJA: Environmental Justice Australia. Environmental legal specialists, advocates and advisors ElectraNet: Energy Distribution and transmission company SA

EMF: Electro Magnetic Field

EMMS: Electricity Market Management System

ENA: Energy Networks Australia. The peak national body representing gas distribution and electricity transmission and distribution businesses throughout Australia

Endeavour Energy: Distribution and transmission company NSW

Energex: Distribution and transmission company QLD. Now merged with Ergon Energy

Energy Australia: Electricity and gas retailing private company. Owned by CLP group HK

Engie: A large French energy multinational who own about 2,000MW of generation in Australia also owns the now closed Hazelwood brown coal plant. Operates retail company Simply Energy

EPA: Environmental Protection Agencies. State government authorities

EPC: Engineering Procurement and Construction. Contract terminology

Ergon Energy: Distribution and transmission company QLD. Government owned

Essential Energy: Distribution and transmission company NSW

EVs: Electric Vehicles

FCAS: Frequency Control Ancillary Services. An AEMO mechanism used to maintain the grids precious frequency of 50 cycles per second. See Ancillary Services

Finkel, Dr Alan: Chief Scientist: Author of “ Independent Review into the Future Security of the National Electricity Market”

FIT: Feed-in tariff: The rate utility companies pay for buying back electricity generated by consumers e.g. roof top solar

Five minute rule: A proposed change to the way electricity prices are settled in the market that would allow faster responding newer technologies to disrupt the incumbent generators practice of gaming supply: See trading interval

Fracking: Hydraulic fracturing: A well stimulation technique in which rock is fractured by a pressurised liquid

FRC: Full Retail Contestability: Customers can choose their energy retailer

Frequency: Refers to number of cycles per second: The target grid frequency in Australia is 50 cycles per second or 50 Hz. In the US they prefer 60 Hz

FRMP: Financially Responsible Market Participant.: AEMO terminology for generator or retailer operating in the NEM

FRT: Fault Ride Through capability: A desirable attribute of a wind turbine so it does not disconnect in a low grid voltage situation

FRV: Fotowatio Renewable Ventures. Major global developer of renewable energy projects multi- billion dollar portfolio

Fugitive Emissions: The gases released from a coal seam by the actual process of mining coal.. According to the Mineral Council this alone accounts for 5% of Australia’s total greenhouse gas emissions

G20: International forum of governments and central banks

Garnaut, Ross: Professor of economics at ANU. Author of Garnaut Climate Change Review, also chair of Zen Energy

Gasification: Conversion of solid fuel to gaseous fuel

Gentailers or Gen-tailer: Generators who are also retailers

Geothermal: Naturally occurring underground heat energy

GHG: Greenhouse Gases. Water vapour, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane and ozone are the primary greenhouse gases

Green Energy Trading: REC trading agent and clean energy advocate
Green Energy: Energy created without setting fire to stuff i.e. wind, water, solar PV

GW: Gigawatt, a billion watts. The old Hazelwood coal fired power station could put out around 1 and a half Gigawatts, or put another way 1500 MW

Horizon Power: Energy distribution, retail and transmission company WA

HVAC: High Voltage Alternating Current. One flavour of electricity used for transmission HVDC: High Voltage Direct Current. Another flavour of electricity used for transmission HWS: Hot Water Service

IEA: International Energy Agency

INTERCONNECTORS: Interconnectors are transmission links which connect two control areas e.g. the Bass Strait cable between Tasmania and Victoria. They allow power to move between regions in response to supply and demand and are a fundamental component of the grid

IPCC: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. UN organisation

Jemena: Energy Distribution and transmission company VIC, NSW. Owned by State Grid Corporation of China and others

kW: Kilowatts – a thousand watts. 1 kW is enough for a small electric heater if you leave it on for an hour you have used one kilowatt hour of electricity (kWh), Your power bill will have the price you pay per kwh and also how many of these kwh you usually use in a day. kWh /day

Lakers, Andrew: Professor Head of the Centre for Sustainable Energy Systems, ANU LCOB: Levelised Cost of Balancing. The additional cost in a renewable dominated grid to overcome intermittency

LGCs: Large scale Generation Certificates. 1 certificate equals 1MWh of renewable electricity Lithium-ion: A common battery technology

LNG: Liquefied natural gas. Takes up a tiny amount of space compared to unprocessed natural gas

LNSP: Local Network Service Provider LOR: Lack of Reserve, AEMO term

Loy Yang A/B: Australia’s largest coal power station. It can output 3000 MW of electricity, it burns brown coal producing over 14 million tonnes of greenhouse gasses annually and with its brother plant in Yallourn accounts for one third of Melbourne’s water use

LRET: Large scale Renewable Energy Target. A scheme run by the Australian Government Clean Energy Regulator to promote the growth of renewable power generation

MarketNet: AEMO’s internal private network

MCA: Minerals Council of Australia. Represents the mineral, mining, exploration and processing industries

MPC: Market Price Cap. Set by the NER, the max price a MW may be traded at, currently $14,000

MW: A Megawatt, or a million watts. 1MW of electricity can run about 500 homes

MWh: Megawatt hours. Used to describe production/consumption or storage capacity

NCAS: Network Support & Control Ancillary Services. An AEMO mechanism used to control voltage, power flow and stability

NEM: The National Electricity Market. Where it all happens. The marketplace for wholesale supply and purchase of electricity, does not cover WA or the NT they have their own markets

NEM Time: Australian Eastern Standard time with no daylight saving. The time base for data in the NEM

NEMDE: National Electricity Market Dispatch Engine

NER: National Electricity Rules

NGR: National Gas Rules

NREL: National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Leading US research organisation NSP: Network Service Provider

NWIS: North West Interconnected System, part of the WA electricity grid OCGT: Open Cycle Gas Turbine plant

OECD: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

Off grid: a power installation with no connection to the electricity grid OPEX: Operational expenditure

Paris Agreement: Signed Dec 2015 under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Participants agreed to hold temperature increase to less than 2 degrees C above pre- industrial levels

Peaking power: Power available to cover spikes in demand. Typically gas or hydro, batteries would be ideal

Perovskites: Solar cell material

PHWR: Pressurised Heavy Water Reactor. A nuclear power technology Polysilicon: Material used to make solar panels

Powercor: Energy distribution and transmission company VIC Powerlink: Distribution and transmission company QLD

Powerwall: Tesla’s battery storage product

PPA: Power Purchasing Agreement

PSH: Pumped Storage Hydro

Pumped Hydro: Pumping water back up to the reservoir when there is cheaper electricity available and then running the water through the turbine again … and again. (like a giant battery only made of water)

PV: Photovoltaic. The magical process where sunlight turns into electricity without any emissions toxic or otherwise. When used at scale it has many advantages over thermal generation. All the fuel is delivered to site free of charge and doesn’t need to be wrestled from the ground with explosives. The only water it uses are in the plant’s smoko shed and toilet block so no need for the Olympic size swimming pool of water every minute like in some gas plants. A PV panel lasts for many decades only requiring the occasional wipe with a damp cloth and at the end of its life can be decommissioned with a cordless screw driver and recycled

PWR: Pressurised Water Reactor. The commonest nuclear power technology
Radiative balance: The balance of incoming and outgoing radiation, a greenhouse process

REC: Renewable Energy Certificate. Made up of large generation certificates LGC and small scale certificates STC

RES-E: Electricity from a Renewable Energy Source

Reserve Secondary: Regulation reserve electricity available in 5 to 15 mins

Reserve Tertiary: Load following reserve electricity available in 15 to 30 mins

Reserve short term capacity: Electricity available within 30 mins to several hours can be up to a day

RET: Renewable Energy Target. Australian Government scheme designed to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases in the electricity sector

Rolling blackout or rotational load shedding: Deliberate sequential shutdown at different times and parts of the grid to avoid total system failure

RoLR: Retailer of Last Resort. A scheme to ensure continued consumer energy supply in the event of a retailer failure

Roof top solar: Solar panels on residential and commercial roofs mostly connected to the grid ROR: Run Of River. A hydro plant that relies on seasonal flows and has limited storage

Rotating Inertia: The sum of all rotating mass inertias of the connected synchronous generation opposing a change of system frequency

SAPN: South Australia Power Networks. Energy distribution and transmission.

SAPST: Stand-alone power system tariff

SECI: Solar Energy Corporation of India

Single axis tracking: A mechanical system that continually turns a solar panel to face the sun. Boosts output by around 25% , dual axis tracking can add a further 5%

SP AusNet: Energy Distribution and transmission company, VIC

Spark Infrastructure: Specialist infrastructure fund. Heavy investor in electricity distribution networks

Spinning reserve: Generation capacity already synchronised to the grid but not operating at full capacity, typically a spinning turbine, a synthetic spinning reserve can be created with batteries

Spot price: The AEMO trading interval price

SRAS: System Restart Ancillary Services. See Ancillary Services SRES: Small scale renewable scheme

SSI: Sub-Synchronous Interactions

STCs: Small scale technology certificates. Issued by the Clean Energy Regulator under the renewable energy target scheme an Australian Government initiative to promote lowering of emissions

STTM: Short Term Trading Market. (Gas market)

SWIS: South West Interconnected System. Part of the WA electricity grid

Synchronous Generators: Describes the turbines found in coal, gas and hydro plants. All have similar characteristics. They were originally designed two centuries ago, are massive (each can weigh as much as 10 greyhound buses) and spin at 3000 rpm or 50 Hz. This rotating mass puts desirable inertia into the system to ride through faults. Asynchronous Generators can be wind, PV, tidal they don’t spin at 3000 rpm, some of them can’t be bothered spinning at all. This resultant lack of inertia would be a problem except for the fact that in the intervening years since the invention of the generator electrical engineers have resolved this with Synthetic inertia (fast frequency response) this can take many forms including Batteries

System Black: Same as Black System

Tengger Desert Solar Park, China: Currently the world’s largest PV solar panel array generating 1500MW of electricity (a Hazelwood)
Thermal coal or Steam coal: Coal used for power generation

Three Gorges Dam: World’s largest power station. Producing over 25GW of Hydro power roughly equivalent to Australia’s electricity production from all sources. The top 5 power stations in the world are Hydro

TOSAS: Transient and Oscillatory Stability Ancillary Service. My favourite AEMO acronym, to do with controlling spikes in the system. See Ancillary Services

Trading interval: Generators bid to supply electricity in 5 min blocks. This is called the dispatch interval, the price they get paid however is the average of the price paid for the 6 previous blocks i.e. 30 min. This is a hangover from when monitoring and recording equipment was slow and clunky. Search for AEMC publication “ Fact-sheet-how-the-spot-market-works” for more information

TransGrid: Distribution and transmission company, NSW
TW: Terawatt. 1012 watts. The US has a total installed generating capacity of around 1TW or 1000GW. A lot of watts no ifs or buts

UNFCCC: United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. See Paris agreement

United Energy: Energy distribution and transmission company, VIC

USC: Ultra Super Critical. A technology that reduces the emissions from coal fired power generators by about 20%

VEEC: Victorian Energy Efficiency Certificate. Each certificate represents abatement of 1 tonne of greenhouse gas emission. Large energy retailers are obliged to surrender a certain number each year

VEET: Victorian Energy Efficiency Target. Promotes energy reduction to homes and businesses by issuing Victorian Energy Efficiency Certificates (VEEC)

watt: Unit of power, Symbol W, 1 amp flowing at 1 volt is 1 watt

WEC: World Energy Council. Long established global energy forum

WEM: Wholesale Electricity Market. The market Western Australia operates within the SWIS Western Power: Energy Distribution and transmission company WA state-owned

WPP: Wind Power Plant

WTG: Wind Turbine Generator

WWEA: World Wind Energy Association

Zibelman, Audrey: Head of AEMO