AEA: AEA Group is a world leading international energy and environmental consultancy, specialising in policy support and program management for national and local Government and global businesses.
Arup Report: Arup is a independent engineering and design consultancy tasked by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to review the cost and deployment potential of renewable electricity technologies in the UK up to 2030. Arup’s review, published in June 2011, looked at the deployment potential and generation costs
Baseload Generation: Baseload is the minimum amount of power needed to satisfy continuing, steady user demand. Baseload power plants (including nuclear, coal and biomass) generate this energy at a stable, constant rate and are not intended to switch on and off regularly.
Balancing the Grid: The electricity grid is a complex system in which supply and demand for energy must be balanced at any given time. Balancing the electricity coming on and off our grid system can be extremely tricky, especially with more intermittent renewable technologies coming online which switch on or off depending on various environmental factors (wind, sunshine etc.). Baseload generation provides a constant supply of energy to support the stability of the grid, with peaking capacity available when required to meet spikes in demand.
Bioenergy Strategy: The UK Bioenergy Strategy, published jointly by DECC, Defra, DfT in February 2012 sets a framework of principles to guide UK bioenergy policy in a way that secures its benefits, while managing these risks. The strategy’s overarching principle is that bioenergy must be produced sustainably and that there is a role for UK Government to steer sustainable development of bioenergy in the UK and as far as possible internationally.
Contract for Difference (CFD): A CFD is a type of feed in tariff, aimed at incentivising investment in low carbon generation. The CFD is a long term contract between Government and low carbon generators, resulting in a top up payment to generators if wholesale prices are low but clawing back money for consumers if prices become higher than the cost of low carbon generation.
Combined Heat and Power (CHP): CHP is a method of power generation that combines the production of usable heat and power (electricity) into a single super-efficient process. As a result, CHP produces substantial savings on primary energy usage, resulting in considerable advantages compared to conventional electricity generation, in which significant amounts of heat are wasted.
Co-Firing: Co-Firing power stations are able to produce power using two different types of fuels at the same time, for example coal and biomass. Increasing the proportion of non-fossil fuel material combusted is a cost-effective way to generate cleaner energy without building new plants from scratch. Another way would be to fully convert existing fossil fuel plants to using biomass instead.
Electricity Market Reform (EMR): Electricity Market Reform is a policy and legislative initiative undertaken by the UK Government. It is intended to review and reform our electricity market in order to attract investment in a range of electricity sources, including renewables. The EMR White Paper published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change in July 2011 sets out key measures to attract investment, reduce the impact on consumer bills, and create a secure mix of electricity sources including gas, new nuclear, renewables and carbon capture and storage.
Emissions Performance Standard (EPS): The EPS is a back stop mechanism for controlling carbon emissions. The EPS limits how much CO2 power stations are permitted to emit. The level of the EPS means that, in effect, no new coal power station can now be built without carbon capture and storage.
Green House Gases (GHG): Green House Gases are gases within the atmosphere that absorb and emit radiation, contributing directly to the “Green House Effect” where thermal radiation from the earth’s surface is reabsorbed through the atmosphere (rather than being lost) leading to rising temperature.
Intermittent Generation: Intermittent generation is energy produced by a source that is not continuously available, due to some outside factor such as wind or sun. Some intermittent energy sources, such as tidal power, can be predictable. However, in general intermittent sources of generation cannot be guaranteed to generate electrify when needed by the grid.
International Energy Agency (IEA): The IEA is a globally recognised independent intergovernmental organisation that seeks to promote the use of reliable, affordable and clean energy. The Agency has 28 members, including the UK and the United States and also works extensively with non-members such as China and India.
Industrial Emissions Directive (IED): The IED combined a number of earlier European Union directives governing industrial emissions within a single directive which came into force in January 2011.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC): The IPCC is an intergovernmental body, established by the United Nations in 1988 with the task of monitoring and assessing all current research into climate change.
Large Combustion Plant Directive (LCPD): The Large Combustion Plant Directive is a European Union Directive that aims to reduce acidification, ground level ozone and particulates by controlling the emissions of sulphur dioxide, oxides of nitrogen and dust from large combustion plant.
Mott McDonald report on levelised costs: The report provides an assessment of current and forward power generation costs for the main large-scale technologies applicable in the UK. The report was commissioned by the Department of Energy and Climate Change and undertaken between October 2009 and March 2010.
Operational Flexibility: Operational flexibility describes the capacity of a power plant to be ramped up or down on demand with relative ease and efficiency. Perfect flexibility would mean shutting down or switching on instantaneously. Combined cycle gas power plants are considered to have a high level of flexibility, compared to a nuclear or coal plant for example.
Peaking Generation: Demand for electricity varies, meaning that different power sources are required when demand is high or peaking. Biomass is currently one of the few renewable energy sources capable of both peaking and baseload generation. Peaks or spikes in customer power demand are handled by smaller and more responsive types of power plants called peaking power plants, typically powered with gas turbines.
Renewable Heat Incentive: The Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is a payment for generating heat from renewable sources, which is set by Government. The RHI is administered by the official regulator, Ofgem, who pay the tariffs through funding from the Treasury. The scheme started in September 2011.
Renewables Obligation: The RO is a means of incentivising renewable electricity projects in the UK. The RO places an obligation on licensed electricity suppliers in the UK to source an increasing proportion of electricity from renewable sources. Energy providers meet this obligation by presenting Renewables Obligation Certificates (ROCs). Where suppliers do not have sufficient ROCs to cover their obligation, they are required to make a payment into a buy-out fund.
Renewable Obligation Banding: The RO Banding system entitles different renewable technologies to varying levels and values of ROCs. The aim is to send a signal to the market to attract extra investment into emerging technologies (such as biomass) enabling them eventually to scale up and bring down costs long-term. Banding was introduced in 2009 and the most recent review set levels of support that will apply 2013-14.
Renewable Energy Roadmap: The UK Renewable Energy Roadmap, published by DECC alongside the EMR White Paper, outlines a plan of action to accelerate renewable energy deployment to meet the target of 15% of all energy by 2020 while driving down costs.
Sustainability Criteria: Introduced as part of the Renewables Obligation (RO), the sustainability criteria will ensure that biomass electricity generators deliver a minimum greenhouse gas emissions saving of 60%, compared against that produced by fossil fuels (set to come into place in Spring 2015). The criteria also impose limitations on the sources of biomass feedstock, protecting ecologically important areas such as primary forests, peatlands, and wetlands.