Glossary of energy industry terms

Alternating Current (AC)A type of electrical current, the direction of
which is reversed at regular intervals or cycles; in the United States
the standard is 120 reversals or 60 cycles per second.
Availability FactorThe ratio of the hours an electricity generation
facility is ready and capable of producing energy to the total number
of hours in the period.
Average CostThe total cost of production divided by the total quantity
Avoided CostThe incremental cost to an electric power producer to
generate or purchase a unit of electricity or capacity or both.
BalancingEqualizing the volumes of gas withdrawn from a pipeline
system with the volumes of gas injected into the pipeline. Penalties
may be assessed for transportation imbalances beyond specified
Base Load CapacityThe generating capacity on an electric system
which is dispatched first to serve system demand.
Biochemical Conversion ProcessThe use of biological processes,
usually microorganisms or enzymes, to convert organic materials
into usable products such as biofuels.
BiodieselA diesel-equivalent fuel produced from renewable,
biological sources through the combination of vegetable oils or
animal fats with an alcohol and a catalyst to form ethyl or methyl
ester. The resulting fuel is biodegradable, and produces less net
carbon dioxide emissions than petroleum-based diesel.
BioenergyThe energy produced from renewable biomass sources,
such as agricultural crops, plant and animal wastes, and other organic
materials. Bioenergy can take the form of liquid fuels, electricity,
heat, and gases.
260 Energy Antitrust Handbook
BiomassThe organic matter derived from plants and animals that can
be used as a biofuel or in the production of other biofuels. Types of
biomass commonly used in biofuel production include agricultural
crops and plant and animal waste.
Biomass GasificationThe conversion of organic biomass into
hydrogen and carbon monoxide gases.
Bituminous CoalAn abundant, dense form of coal used as fuel in
steam-electric power generation.
Bottoming CycleA cogeneration system which typically generates
thermal energy for heat, and converts excess heat to steam in order to
power a steam turbine-driven generator.
British Thermal Unit (BTU)A unit of energy def ined as the amount
of heat energy required to raise the temperature of one pound of
water one degree Fahrenheit.
Bundled Sales ServiceThe sale or transportation of natural gas under
one rate, which does not differentiate separate rate components for
the sale, transportation, distribution, or other services associated with
such sale.
Burner TipAn attachment to a natural gas line for a burner head that
forms a burner port modifier for a specific application. T he burner
tip represents the end of the transportation of natural gas from the
wellhead and the point of consumption.
BusbarThe power conduit of an electric power plant; the starting point
of the electric transmission system.
Busbar CostThe cost of producing electricity up to the point of the
power plant busbar.
BypassA delivery of natural gas to a customer through a pipeline other
than that customer’s traditional supplier, that is, delivery of natural
gas to an end user directly off a transmission pipeline without
moving the natural gas through t he end user’s traditional local
distribution company supplier.

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