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ENERGY TRANSFORMATION

Glossary

This glossary covers a range of terms related to energy transformation.

TERM DEFINITION
Energy Transformation The means through which alternative energy systems will increase in use among consumers and introduce new operating practices to sustain Americas electric grid.
Energy Source The origination point of energy, such as fossil fuels (e.g., coal, oil, natural gas), nuclear energy, renewable sources (e.g., solar, wind, hydroelectric, geothermal) or storage (e.g., batteries, fuel cells).
Renewable Energy Energy derived from naturally replenishing sources, such as sunlight, wind, water and biomass. These sources are considered sustainable and carry minimal environmental impact.
Non-renewable Energy Energy derived from finite resources, such as fossil fuels (e.g., coal, oil and natural gas) and nuclear fuels. Once depleted, these resources cannot be replenished within a human lifespan.
Energy Efficiency The ratio of a systems useful energy output to its total energy output. Improving energy efficiency minimizes energy losses and maximizes the productive use of energy.
Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) A variety of small-scale, decentralized technologies for energy generation and storage deployed close to the point of energy consumption. These include solar, wind, geothermal and electric-vehicle (EV) sources.
Energy Conversion The process of changing one form of energy into another. For example: A solar panel converts sunlight into electrical energy while a wind turbine converts movement of the wind into electrical energy.
Grid Integration The incorporation of various energy resources, including renewable energy sources and energy storage, into the electric grid to ensure reliable and efficient power delivery.
Smart Grid An advanced electricity grid that uses digital technologies, sensors and communication networks to monitor, control and optimize real-time electricity generation, transmission and distribution.
Bi-directional Energy The ability of consumers to generate their own power, often through such distributed energy resources (DERs) as solar panels and battery energy storage systems (BESS). Consumers could use this energy themselves, store it for a later time and / or it return to the grid in exchange for incentives.
Energy Storage The capture and retention of electricity for later use in such technology as batteries, pumped hydroelectric storage, compressed air energy storage and thermal energy storage.
Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) A technology that stores electrical energy in batteries to discharge for later use as main / backup power.
Energy Conservation The practice of reducing energy consumption through behavioral changes, technological improvements and efficiency measures to minimize waste and environmental impact.
Peak Shaving The ability to discharge stored electricity such as that from a battery energy storage system (BESS) at times of heavy usage to reduce strain on the electrical grid and avoid costly peak demand charges.
Home Energy Assessment An assessment of energy use in a home that identifies opportunities to improve energy efficiency and reduce the cost of energy use.
LED (Light-Emitting Diode) A type of lighting that is highly energy-efficient and long-lasting compared to traditional incandescent and fluorescent lighting.
Usage Optimization Programs and strategies that incentivize consumers to adjust their electricity usage without sacrificing security, comfort or convenience. As a response to changing prices or conditions, usage optimization helps to balance energy supply and demand.
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