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Glossary

Many readers have asked us to provide a glossary of terms and acronyms we commonly use on the website. This is the first, but by no means complete, attempt at putting one together.

Our thanks to contributor Simon McCarthy for putting this together, and adding a few whimsical touches. We shall update it it when we can. Any omissions? Please let us know.

AC: Alternating current , electricity flowing in two directions invented by genius and Synaesthesiac Nikola Tesla.

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 set by AEMC

AGL: Energy Gentailer distribution and transmission company,

AGR: Gas cooled reactor , a nuclear power technology

Amp: ampere electrical measurement unit that describes the volume of electricity moving down a

wire . When multiplied by the Volts (the electrical “pressure”) you get Watts.

Anthropogenic: Man made (as in global warming)

APA Group: Australia’s biggest gas pipeline operator

Aurora Energy: Energy Distribution and transmission company, TAS.

AusGrid: State owned distribution and transmission company, NSW.

AusNet: Services regulated energy networks owner Victoria.

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

Behind the meter: resources like batteries, solar panels or control systems that are located in customer premises – homes and 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

Lakers, Andrew: Professor Head of the Centre for Sustainable Energy Systems, ANU

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.

BWR: Boiling water reactor. A nuclear power technology

BZE: Beyond Zero Emissions. Research organization .

CAPEX: Capital expenditure

CCA: Climate Change Authority

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

CCS: Carbon Capture and Sequestration or storage

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

CFD: Contract For Difference. A financial instrument. As in ACT reverse auctions.

Citipower: Electricity supplier VIC

Clean coal with the exception of CCS: 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

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

CST: Concentrated solar thermal, the sun heats a fluid to drive a turbine

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

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. e.g. 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 batteries

DSM: Demand Side Management, influencing or controlling demand as opposed to supply

DUET: Group Gas and power grid owner

ECIU: Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit. UK not for profit

EIS: Emissions Intensity Scheme

ElectraNet: Energy Distribution and transmission company ,SA.

EMMS: Electricity Market Management System

ENA: Energy Networks Australia is 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 Hazlewood Brown coal plant. Operates retail company Simply Energy

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, NEM Ancillary Service used for grid stability

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

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

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.

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

G20: International forum of governments and central banks

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

Gasification: conversion of solid fuel to gaseous fuel

Gentailers: Generators who are also retailers

Geothermal: Naturally occurring underground heat energy

Green Energy: Energy created without setting fire to stuff i.e. wind, water, solar PV

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

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

IEA: International Energy Agency

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

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 un processed natural gas

LOR: Lack of reserve, AEMO term

Loy Yang A/B: Australia’s largest power station can produce 3000 Mw, burns brown coal producing over 14 million tonnes of greenhouse gasses each year.

LRET: Large scale renwable energy target

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 MWh may be traded at, currently $14000

MW: Measure of capacity. 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

NEM: The National Electricity Market. The market place for wholesale supply and purchase of electricity, does not cover WA or the NT

NEMDE: National Electricity Market Dispatch Engine

NER: National Electricity Rules

NSP: Network Service Provider

NWIS: North West Interconnected System, part of the WA electricity grid.

OCGT: open cycle gas turbine plant

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 are 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: Teslas battery storage product

PSH: Pumped Storage Hydro

Pumped Hydro: pumping water back up to the dam and running it through the turbine again … and again.

PV Photovoltaic: The magical process where sunlight turns into electricity without any emissions or moving parts.

PWR: Pressurised water reactor. the most common nuclear power technology

Radiative balance: The balance of incoming and outgoing radiation a Greenhouse process.

RES-E: Electricity from a Renewable Energy Source

Reserve Secondary or regulation reserve electricity available in 5 to 15 mins.

Reserve short term capacity electricity available within 30 mins to several hours or up to a day

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

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

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

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 access 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 synchronized to the grid but not operating at full capacity typically a spinning turbine , a synthetic spinning reserve can be created with batteries

Spot price AEMOs trading interval price

SRAS System start ancillary services. AEMO Ancillary service

SRES Small scale renewable scheme

SSI sub-synchronous interactions

SWIS South West Interconnected System, WA electricity grid

Synchronous Generators describes the turbines found in coal , gas and hydro plants all have similar characteristics, they were originally designed 2 centuries back 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

Thermal coal or “steam coal”, coal used for power generation

TransGrid Distribution and transmission company NSW

TW: terawatt

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%

Watt: unit of power, symbol W, 1 amp flowing at 1 volt is 1 Watt

Western Power: Energy Distribution and transmission company WA state owned

WPP: Wind power plant

WTG: Wind turbine generator

Zibelman Audrey: Head of AEMO