the rate of currency conversion that equalises the purchasing power of different currencies. It makes allowance for the differences in price levels and spending patterns between different countries.
The following definitions reflect those used by the International Energy Agency (IEA); definitions used by other organisations and publications may vary.
assigned amount unit
active solar thermal
active solar thermal
air-source heat pumps
active solar thermal
best available technology
business-as-usual, implying no change in policies, no government intervention
battery electric vehicles
bubbling fluidised-bed combustion (boiler type)
biomass-integrated gasification with combined cycle
bio-synthetic natural gas
basic oxygen furnace
best practical technology
Brazil, Russia, India, China
Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa
Brazil, Russia, India, Indonesia, South Africa
compound average annual growth rate
corporate average fuel economy (standards in the United States)
Committee on Budget and Expenditure (of the IEA); also indicated as Budget Committee
combined-cycle gas turbine
combined cooling, heat and power
carbon capture and storage
clean coal technologies
coke dry quenching
crude distillation unit
Clean Energy Ministerial
Council on Environmental Quality (United States)
Certified Emission Reductions issued by CDM Executive Board, representing 1 tonne of CO2 equivalent
Committee on Energy Research and Technology (of the IEA)
circulating fluidised-bed combustion (boiler technology)
commercial financial institutions
compact fluorescent lamp
combined heat and power (generation)
Climate Investment Fund
coal mine methane
compressed natural gas
chemical oxygen demand
Caspian Pipeline Consortium
Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme
coal seam gas
concentrating solar heating
coal seam methane
concentrating solar power
cyclic steam stimulation
coal to chemicals
Clean Technology Fund (World Bank)
distributed energy resources, such as solar photovoltaic (PV) or wind power
development finance institution
district heating and cooling
Department of Energy (United States)
Department of the Interior (United States)
Department of Transportation (United States)
direct reduced iron
exploration and production
electric arc furnace
export credit agency
enhanced coalbed methane recovery
European Economic Area
Energy Efficiency Market Report (publication of the IEA)
Energy Efficiency Working Party (of the IEA)
Energy Frontier Research Center (United States)
enhanced gas recovery
Experts Group on Science for Energy (of the IEA), formerly known as the Ad Hoc Group on Science and Energy Technologies
Energy Information Administration (United States)
economies in transition: Russia, Former Soviet Union (FSU) and East & Central Europe (ECE)
electricity networks analysis, research and development
enhanced oil recovery
Environmental Protection Agency (United States)
engineering, procurement and construction
Emergency Response Exercise
Emergency Response Review
emission reduction units
energy service company
European Smart Meters Industry Group
ethyl tertiary butyl ether
energy technology collaboration
Energy Technologies Institute (United Kingdom)
Energy Technology Perspectives (IEA publication)
emissions trading scheme
European Union allowances
Eurostat is the statistical office of the European Union
Working Party on Energy End-Use Technologies (of the IEA)
external costs of energy (research project of the European Commission)
fatty acid methyl ester
fluidised bed combustion
foreign direct investment
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (United States)
final investment decision
framework programmes for research and technology development
Fusion Power Co-ordinating Committee, aka Fusion Working Party (of the IEA)
Former Soviet Union
group of 20 finance ministers and central bank governors. The group is made up of all Group of Eight members, plus Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea and Turkey. The European Union is the 20th member.
Group of Seven industrialised nations – Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. Known as Group of Eight until 2014, when Russia's membership was suspended. The European Union also participates.
gross domestic product
gross fixed capital formation
geothermal heat pumps
geographic information systems
Green Investment Scheme
The Greenhouse Gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy Use in Transportation Model
ground-source heat pumps
hazardous air pollutants
Human Development Index
high voltage direct current
hydrogen fuel cell vehicle
heavy fuel oil
Human Poverty Index
Health & Safety Executive (United Kingdom)
heating seasonal performance factor
high temperature superconductor
heating, ventilation and air conditioning
high-voltage direct current line
Industry Advisory Board (of the IEA)
internal combustion engine
Initial Contingency Response Plan
information and communications technologies
Innovation China-United Kingdom
In-Depth Reviews (IEA publications focusing on specific countries)
integrated energy policy
integrated gasification combined cycle
International Low-Carbon Energy Technology Platform
international oil company
industries of the future
initial public offering
independent power producer
intellectual property rights
internal rates of return
in situ leaching
joint implementation under Kyoto Protocol
Joint Organisations Data Initiative (IEA is a founding partner)
kilowatt electrical capacity
Key World Energy Statistics (booklet published annually by the IEA)
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (United States)
liquid crystal display
Low-Carbon Energy Technology Platform (of the IEA)
levelised cost of energy
light commercial vehicle
least economically developed country
linear Fresnel reflectors
lower heating value
liquefied natural gas
licence of right
liquefied petroleum gas
long run marginal cost
land-use, land-use change and forestry
mergers and acquisitions
molten carbonate fuel cells
multilateral development bank
Millennium Development Goals (United Nations)
Middle East and North Africa
minimum energy performance
minimum energy performance standard
market exchange rate
molten oxide electrolysis
mobility modelling (transport sector model developed by the IEA)
multiple service contract
methyl tertiary butyl ether
Medium-Term Coal Market Report (publication of the IEA)
Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report (publication of the IEA)
Medium-Term Oil Market Report (publication of the IEA)
Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report (publication of the IEA)
nationally appropriate mitigation action
national allocation plan, under the EU ETS, each government must produce a national allocation plan
national balancing point
Nuclear Energy Agency (an agency within the OECD)
National Energy Commission (China)
New European Driving Cycle
New Energy Externalities Development for Sustainability (research project for the European Commission)
Network of Expertise in Energy Technology, an initiative to enhance collaboration between OECD and non-member countries (launched in May 2006)
National Emergency Strategy Organisation (from the IEA’s Emergency Policy Division)
Synchronous grid operation of northern, eastern, western and north-eastern grids (India)
natural gas combined cycle
natural gas liquid
natural gas open-cycle
natural gas vehicle
not in my backyard
national oil company
New York Mercantile Exchange
near-zero emissions coal project
operation and maintenance
open-cycle gas turbine
oxidative coupling of methane
official development assistance
outward direct investment
original equipment manufacturer
Online Information System, an OECD/IEA system for submitting official documents for OECD and IEA committees, standing groups and working parties
other major economies
Oil Market Report (IEA publication)
organic Rankine cycle
Office of Science and Technology Policy (United States)
ocean thermal energy conversion
phosphoric acid fuel cells
performance appraisal report
pulverised coal combustion
pulverised coal injection
public distribution system
polymer electrolyte fuel cells
proton exchange membrane
plug-in hybrid electric vehicles
passenger light-duty vehicle
particulate matter with a diameter of 2.5 micrometers or less
Private Participation in Infrastructure
purchasing power parity
research and development
research, development and demonstration
research, development, demonstration and deployment
renewable energy (renewables)
renewable energy costs and benefits for society
renewable energy sources
renewable energy technology(ies)
Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (in the United States)
rest of the world
revenue passenger kilometers
steam-assisted gravity drainage
synthetic crude oil
Standing Group on Emergency Questions (of the IEA)
Standing Group on Global Energy Dialogue (of the IEA)
Standing Group on Long-Term Co-operation (of the IEA)
synthetic natural gas
solid oxide fuel cells
Standing Group on the Oil Market (of the IEA)
short-run marginal cost
sovereign wealth funds
transmission and distribution (of electricity)
tertiary amyl methyl ether
Energy Training & Capacity Building Programme (of the IEA)
Technology Collaboration Programmes, also known as Implementing Agreements, Multilateral Technology Initiatives or Energy Technology Initiatives (of the IEA). List of programmes as of 2016:
- Advanced Fuel Cells (AFC TCP)
- Advanced Materials for Transportation (AMT TCP)
- Advanced Motor Fuels (AMF TCP)
- Bioenergy (Bioenergy TCP)
- Buildings and Communities (EBC TCP)
- Clean and Efficient Combustion (Combustion TCP)
- Clean Coal Centre (CCC TCP)
- Climate Technology Initiative (CTI TCP)
- Co-operation on Tokamak Programmes (CTP TCP)
- Demand-Side Management (DSM TCP)
- District Heating and Cooling, including the Integration of Combined Heat and Power (DHC TCP)
- Energy Efficient End-Use Equipment (4E TCP)
- Energy Storage (ECES TCP)
- Energy Technology Systems Analysis (ETSAP TCP)
- Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR TCP)
- Environmental, Safety and Economic Aspects of Fusion Power (ESEFP TCP)
- Fluidized Bed Conversion (FBC TCP)
- Fusion Materials (FM TCP)
- Gas and Oil (GOTCP)
- Geothermal (Geothermal TCP)
- Greenhouse Gas R&D (GHG TCP)
- Heat Pumping Technologies (HPT TCP)
- High-Temperature Superconductivity (HTS TCP)
- Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (HEV TCP)
- Hydrogen (Hydrogen TCP)
- Hydropower (Hydropower TCP)
- Industrial Technologies and Systems (IETS TCP)
- Nuclear Technology of Fusion Reactors (NTFR TCP)
- Ocean Energy Systems (OES TCP)
- Photovoltaic Power Systems (PVPS TCP)
- Plasma Wall Interaction (PWI TCP)
- Renewable Energy Technology Deployment (RETD TCP)
- Reversed Field Pinches (RFP TCP)
- Smart Grids (ISGAN TCP)
- Solar Heating and Cooling (SHC TCP)
- SolarPACES (SolarPACES TCP)
- Spherical Tori (ST TCP)
- Stellarator-Heliotron Concept (SH TCP)
- Wind Energy Systems (Wind TCP)
total final consumption
tradable green certificate
total primary energy demand
total primary energy supply
underground coal gasification
ultra-low CO2 steelmaking
International Union of Producers and Distributors of Electrical Energy
ultra-supercritical steam cycle
varRE or VRE
variable renewable energy
voluntary contribution (IEA funding mechanism)
volatile organic compound
World Energy Outlook (IEA publication)
Working Party on Fossil Fuels (of the IEA)
West Texas Intermediate (crude oil category)
applies to electric (which are battery powered), plug-in hybrid (which uses two sources of power – most commonly gasoline and electric) and fuel cell models (which convert hydrogen into electricity).
Annex B countries
countries with quantitative targets under the Kyoto Protocol.
Annex I countries
developed countries and countries in transition that have committed under the UNFCCC to undertake emissions reductions activities.
arising from human activity; for example, anthropogenic greenhouse-gas emissions are those linked to human activity rather than natural sources.
an underground water reservoir; if the water contains large quantities of minerals, it is a saline aquifer.
the practice of taking advantage of a price difference between two or more markets.
a secured business loan in which the borrower pledges its assets as collateral.
assigned amount unit
the tradable unit under the trading mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol. Each unit allows the country to emit one tonne of CO2 equivalent of any of six greenhouse gases covered by the Protocol.
Market situation in which futures prices are progressively lower in the distant delivery months. For instance, if the gold quotation in January for March is $960.00 per ounce and that for June is $945.00 per ounce, the backwardation for three months against March is $15.00 per ounce. (Backwardation is the opposite of contango).
balance of payments
essentially a country’s bank statement, which shows all transactions with other countries throughout the world.
a diesel-equivalent, processed fuel made from the esterification (a chemical process that removes glycerine from oil) of both vegetable oils and animal fats.
fuels derived from biomass or waste feedstocks; includes ethanol and biodiesel.
a mixture of methane and CO2 produced by bacterial degradation of organic matter and used as a fuel.
renewable energy from living (or recently living) plants and animals; e.g. wood chippings, crops and manure. Plants store energy from the sun while animals get their energy from the plants they eat.
a process featuring biomass gasification into syngas (using Fischer-Tropsch catalytic synthesis or a methanol-to-gasoline reaction path) followed by synthesis of liquid products (such as diesel, naphtha or gasoline). The process is similar to those used in coal-to-liquids or gas-to-liquids.
a by-product from chemical pulping processes that consists of lignin residue combined with water and the chemicals used for extracting lignin.
a formal contract to repay borrowed money with interest at fixed intervals.
includes lignite and sub-bituminous coal where lignite is defined as non-agglomerating coal with a gross calorific value less than 4 165 kilocalories per kilogramme (kcal/kg) and sub-bituminous coal is defined as non-agglomerating coal with a gross calorific value between 4 165 kcal/kg and 5 700 kcal/kg.
Committee on Budget and Expenditure (of the IEA); also indicated as CBE
in IEA data, term includes both international marine bunkers and international aviation bunkers (see respective category definitions).
carbon capture and storage
a group of technologies used to reduce CO2 emissions from large CO2 sources (such as fossil fuel or biomass power generation) and industrial processes (such as cement, iron and steel and fertilizer manufacturing). Following capture, CO2 is transported and stored in specifically selected and characterised geological formations over 1 000 metres below the ground. Aspects of the CCS chain have been used in industry for many decades; however, the complete process has been demonstrated at commercial scale at only a few locations in the world.
the full quantity of greenhouse gases that can be attributed to an individual, a plant, a company, a product or a whole economy.
the set of organised and bilateral transactions by which countries trade credits received for greenhouse-gas emission reductions. The market is used to comply with emission goals, or to voluntarily offset a country’s own emissions. The carbon market was launched by the creation of three mechanisms under the Kyoto Protocol: emissions trading, across developed countries; the Clean Development Mechanism, based on projects in developing countries; and Joint Implementation, based on projects in developed countries.
Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)
the mechanism under the Kyoto Protocol by which a developing country can earn certified emission reductions (CERs) for a project that reduces emissions (e.g. carbon trading).
the change in climate (i.e. regional temperature, precipitation, extreme weather, etc.) caused by increase in the greenhouse effect. (see global warming).
Climate Change Experts Group (CCXG)
The OECD and IEA jointly act as Secretariat for this ad hoc group of climate negotiators from member countries.
co-generation (or combined heat and power)
the simultaneous generation of both electricity and heat from the same fuel, for useful purposes. The fuel varies greatly and can include coal, biomass, natural gas, nuclear material, the sun or the heat stored in the earth.
Coal refers to a variety of solid, combustible, sedimentary, organic rocks that are composed mainly of carbon and varying amounts of other components such as hydrogen, oxygen, sulphur and moisture. Coal is formed from vegetation that has been consolidated between other rock strata and altered by the combined effects of pressure and heat over millions of years. Many different classifications of coal are used around the world, reflecting a broad range of ages, compositions and properties.
the transformation of coal into liquid hydrocarbons. It can be achieved through either coal gasification into syngas (a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide), combined with Fischer-Tropsch or methanol-to-gasoline synthesis to produce liquid fuels, or through the less developed direct-coal liquefaction technologies in which coal is directly reacted with hydrogen.
coalbed methane (CBD)
methane found in coal seams that is a source of unconventional natural gas.
coke oven coke
the solid product obtained from the carbonisation of coal, principally coking coal, at high temperature. Semi-coke, the solid product obtained from the carbonisation of coal at low temperatures, is also included, along with coke and semi-coke.
hard coal of a quality that allows the production of coke suitable to support a blast furnace charge.
concentrating solar power (CSP)
devices that concentrate energy from the sun’s rays to heat a receiver to high temperatures. This heat is transformed first into mechanical energy (by turbines or other engines) and then into electricity. (See also Photovoltaic).
condensates are liquid hydrocarbon mixtures recovered from associated or non-associated gas reservoirs. They are composed of C5 and higher carbon number hydrocarbons and normally have an API between 50° and 85°.
Market situation in which prices in succeeding delivery months are progressively higher than in the nearest delivery month; the opposite of backwardation.
the liabilities held by a company used to fund investments.
generally used as an instrument to hedge risk, but can also be used for speculative purposes.
direct equity investment
the acquisition of equity (or shares) in a company.
a vehicle that has two fuel systems and can switch from one fuel to the other, such as gasoline/compressed natural gas (CNG).
emission objectives that are adjusted according to a pre-agreed metric such as GDP for a country or production level for an industry.
electric vehicle (EV)
a plug-in, battery electric vehicle. It is sometimes also termed ‘battery electric vehicle’. EVs do not have an internal combustion engine.
the total amount of electricity generated by power only or combined heat and power plants including generation required for own use. This is also referred to as gross generation.
the total amount of electricity generated by a power plant. It includes own-use electricity, as well as transmission and distribution losses.
Emergency Response Exercises
main objective is to train relevant government officials and oil industry stakeholders in emergency procedures. IEA work in this area began with the development of Emergency Response Exercises for member countries in the wake of oil supply disruptions in the 1970s, which threatened the global economy.
the portion or share of total allowable emissions assigned to a country or group of countries within a framework of maximum total emissions and mandatory allocations of resources or assessments (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change).
emission reduction units
each ERU represents 1 tonne of CO2 equivalent, generated under the Kyoto Protocol’s Joint Implementation provisions.
Energy Development Index
a composite measure of energy use in developing countries (developed by the IEA). Inputs are commercial energy consumption per capita, share of commercial energy in total final consumption (TFC), and share of population with access to electricity.
something is more energy efficient if it delivers more services for the same energy input, or the same services for less energy input. For example, when a compact florescent light (CFL) bulb uses less energy than an incandescent bulb to produce the same amount of light, the CFL is considered to be more energy efficient. For more information
energy efficiency indicators
show policy makers where energy savings can be made.
a measure of total primary energy use per unit of gross domestic product.
a lack of access to modern energy services. These services are defined as household access to electricity and clean cooking facilities (e.g. fuels and stoves that do not cause air pollution in houses).
the uninterrupted availability of energy sources at an affordable price.
energy technology roadmap
each IEA Technology Roadmap focuses on a single technology and outlines a clear and systematic path for its deployment within a set time period. The roadmapping process involves detailed analysis and assessments of aspects such as research, development and deployment of the technology, the legal, regulatory and financial issues, and consumer acceptance issues.
enhanced oil recovery
also known as tertiary oil recovery, it follows primary recovery (oil produced by the natural pressure in the reservoir) and secondary recovery (using water injection). Various EOR technologies exist, such as steam injection, hydrocarbon injection, underground combustion and CO2 flooding.
is produced from fermenting any biomass high in carbohydrates. Today, ethanol is made from starches and sugars, but advanced generation technologies will allow it to be made from cellulose and hemicellulose, the fibrous material that makes up the bulk of most plant matter.
traded on an exchange which is controlled by rules and regulations, such as the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX). A non-exchange traded commodity is traded between physical buyers and sellers outside of such an exchange.
Fischer-Tropsch (FT) synthesis
catalytic production process for the production of synthetic fuels. Natural gas, coal and biomass feedstocks can be used.
a reaction when the nucleus of an atom, having captured a neutron, splits into two or more nuclei, and in so doing, releases a significant amount of energy as well as more neutrons. These neutrons then go on to split more nuclei and a chain reaction takes place.
a vehicle that has one fuel system but can mix different types of fuels, such as gasoline/ethanol, in the same tank, in any (or a wide range of) mixtures.
fuel cell models
convert hydrogen into electricity using a fuel cell system. Hydrogen is typically stored on-board the vehicle for conversion, so these need not be plug-in vehicles. However, it appears likely that plug-in hybrid type fuel cell vehicles – with batteries and a fuel cell system instead of an internal combustion engine – may be an optimal configuration, and thus they would be plug-in vehicles.
a process in which nuclei collide and join together to form a heavier atom. When this happens a considerable amount of energy gets released. (This is what takes place at the core of the Sun.)
tradable financial contracts.
includes natural gas (both associated and non-associated with petroleum deposits, but excluding natural gas liquids) and gas-works gas.
a process featuring reaction of methane with oxygen or steam to produce syngas (a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide) followed by synthesis of liquid products (such as diesel and naphtha) from the syngas using Fischer-Tropsch catalytic synthesis. The process is similar to those used in coal-to-liquids or biomass-to-liquids.
energy available as heat emitted from within the earth’s crust, usually in the form of hot water or steam.
the observed increased of the global average temperature as a result of human and other activities, including through the increased concentration of greenhouse gases such as CO2 from energy.
The following definitions reflect those used by the IEA; definitions used by other organisations and publications may vary.
amount of electricity produced by green methods;set by regulations but can be traded.
greenhouse gases (such as water vapour, CO2, methane, etc) in the atmosphere absorb and re-emit heat being radiated from the earth, trapping warmth.
referring to gases that contribute to the greenhouse effect by absorbing infrared radiation (heat). Anthropogenic emissions of six greenhouse gases are covered by the Kyoto Protocol.
gross domestic product (GDP)
a country’s annual economic output.
coal of gross calorific value greater than 5 700 kilocalories per kilogramme on an ashfree but moist basis. Hard coal can be further disaggregated into anthracite, coking coal and other bituminous coal.
In IEA energy statistics, heat refers to heat produced for sale only. Most heat included in this category comes from the combustion of fuels, although some small amounts are produced from geothermal sources, electrically powered heat pumps and boilers.
Heat is obtained from fuels combustion, nuclear reactors, geothermal reservoirs, capture of sunlight, exothermic chemical processes and heat pumps which can extract it from ambient air and liquids. It may be used for heating or cooling or converted into mechanical energy for transport vehicles or electricity generation. Commercial heat sold is reported under total final consumption with the fuel inputs allocated under power generation.
heavy petroleum products
heavy petroleum products include heavy fuel oil.
an investment fund opened to a limited range of investors. These funds aggressively manage a portfolio of investments that use advanced investment strategies such as leveraged, long, short and derivative positions with the goal of generating high returns.
Human Poverty Index
measures life expectancy at birth, adult literacy and & school enrolment, and per-capita GDP (adjusted for purchasing power parity [PPP]). HPI-1 is a modified HPI for developing countries that measures probability at birth of not surviving to 40, adult literacy, % of population without clean water and % of children underweight.
the energy content of the electricity produced in hydropower plants assuming 100% efficiency.
the electrical energy derived from turbines being spun by fresh flowing water. This can be from rivers or from man-made installations, where water flows from a high-level reservoir down through a tunnel and away from a dam.
a sector that includes fuel used within the manufacturing and construction industries. Key industry sectors include iron and steel, chemical and petrochemical, non-metallic minerals, and pulp and paper. Use by industries for the transformation of energy into another form or for the production of fuels is excluded and reported separately under other energy sector. Consumption of fuels for the transport of goods is reported as part of the transport sector.
integrated gasification combined cycle
a technology in which a solid or liquid fuel (coal, heavy oil or biomass) is gasified, followed by use for electricity generation in a combined-cycle power plant. IGCC is widely considered a promising electricity generation technology, due to its potential to achieve high efficiencies and low emissions.
international aviation bunkers
This category includes the deliveries of aviation fuels to aircraft for international aviation. Fuels used by airlines for their road vehicles are excluded. The domestic/international split is determined on the basis of departure and landing locations and not by the nationality of the airline. For many countries this incorrectly excludes fuels used by domestically owned carriers for their international departures.
international marine bunkers
This category covers those quantities delivered to ships of all flags that are engaged in international navigation. The international navigation may take place at sea, on inland lakes and waterways, and in coastal waters. Consumption by ships engaged in domestic navigation is excluded. The domestic/international split is determined on the basis of port of departure and port of arrival, and not by the flag or nationality of the ship. Consumption by fishing vessels and by military forces is also excluded and included in residential, services and agriculture.
light petroleum products
include liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), naphtha and gasoline.
liquefied natural gas
natural gas that has been liquefied by reducing its temperature to -162°C at atmospheric pressure. In this way, the space requirements for storage and transport are reduced by a factor of more than 600.
the ability to sell assets without significant movement in the price and with minimum loss of value.
technologies that produce low – or zero – greenhouse-gas emissions while operating. In the power sector this includes fossil-fuel plants fitted with carbon capture and storage, nuclear plants and renewable-based generation technologies.
lower heating value
the heat liberated by the complete combustion of a unit of fuel when the water produced is assumed to remain as a vapour and the heat is not recovered.
include jet fuel, diesel and heating oil.
Millennium Development Goals
global commitments to eradicate extreme poverty. They were agreed to by all the world’s countries and all the world’s leading development institutions in September 2000.
includes all biomass (such as biodiesel), with the exception of traditional biomass which include wood, charcoal, agricultural resides and animal dung used for cooking and heating.
includes all types of renewables (such as wind and solar), with the exception of traditional biomass which include wood, charcoal, agricultural resides and animal dung used for cooking and heating.
Multilateral Technology Initiatives
Multilateral Technology Initiatives, also known as Implementing Agreements or Energy Technology Initiatives (of the IEA). List of initiatives as of 2015:
- Advanced Fuel Cells (AFCIA)
- Advanced Materials for Transportation (AMT IA)
- Advanced Motor Fuels (AMF IA)
- Bioenergy (Bioenergy IA)
- Buildings and Community Systems (ECBCS IA)
- Clean Coal Centre (CCC IA)
- Climate Technology Initiative (CTI IA)
- Co-operation on Tokamak Programmes (CTP IA)
- Demand-Side Management (DSM IA)
- District Heating and Cooling, including the Integration of Combined Heat and Power (DHC IA)
- Efficient Electrical End-Use Equipment (4E IA)
- Electricity Networks Analysis, Research & Development (ENARD IA)
- Emissions Reduction in Combustion (Combustion IA)
- Energy Storage (ECES IA)
- Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDE IA)
- Energy Technology Systems Analysis Programme (ETSAP IA)
- Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR IA)
- Environmental, Safety and Economic Aspects of Fusion Power (ESE Fusion Power IA)
- Fluidized Bed Conversion (FBC IA)
- Fusion Materials (Fusion Materials IA)
- Geothermal (Geothermal IA)
- Greenhouse Gas (GHG IA)
- Heat Pumping Technologies (Heat Pumps IA)
- High-Temperature Superconductivity on the Electric Power Sector (HTS IA)
- Hybrid and Electric Vehicles (HEV IA)
- Hydrogen (Hydrogen IA)
- Hydropower (Hydropower IA)
- Industrial Energy-Related Technologies and Systems (IETS IA)
- Multiphase Flow Sciences (Multiphase IA)
- Nuclear Technology of Fusion Reactors (NTFR IA)
- Ocean Energy Systems (OES IA)
- Photovoltaic Power Systems (PVPS IA)
- Plasma Wall Interaction in TEXTOR (Textor IA)
- Renewable Energy Technology Deployment (RETD IA)
- Reversed Field Pinches (RFP IA)
- Smart Grids
- Solar Heating and Cooling (SHC IA)
- SolarPACES (SolarPACES IA)
- Spherical Tori (Spherical Tori IA)
- Stellarator-Heliotron Concept (Stellarator/Heliotron IA)
- Wind Energy Systems (Wind IA)
natural decline rate
the base production decline rate of an oil or gas field without intervention to enhance production.
natural gas liquids
the liquid or liquefied hydrocarbons produced in the manufacture, purification and stabilisation of natural gas. These are those portions of natural gas which are recovered as liquids in separators, field facilities, or gas processing plants. NGLs include but are not limited to ethane, propane, butane, pentane, natural gasoline and condensates.
allows a country to sell allowances if its emissions are below the target, but does not oblige it to buy allowances if emissions are above.
fuels used for chemical feedstocks and non-energy products. Examples of non-energy products include lubricants, paraffin waxes, coal tars, and oils used as timber preservatives.
observed decline rate
the production decline rate of an oil or gas field after all measures have been taken to maximise production. It is the aggregation of all the production increases and declines of new and mature oil or gas fields in a particular region.
energy available for recovery through different types of technologies that exploit the following phenomena: tidal rise and fall (barrages), tidal/ocean currents, waves, temperature gradients, and salinity gradients.
as defined by the IEA, includes crude oil, condensates, natural gas liquids, refinery feedstocks and additives, other hydrocarbons (including emulsified oils, synthetic crude oil, mineral oils extracted from bituminous minerals such as oil shale, bituminous sand and oils from CTL and GTL) and petroleum products (refinery gas, ethane, LPG, aviation gasoline, motor gasoline, jet fuels, kerosene, gas/diesel oil, heavy fuel oil, naphtha, white spirit, lubricants, bitumen, paraffin waxes and petroleum coke).
nominal oil expenditures (demand multiplied by the crude price) divided by nominal GDP. This is a proxy of how much any given economy spends on its oil needs in a given year. Typically, the global oil burden hovers around 2% of GDP – excepting during oil price shocks, e.g. in 2008. In other words, the oil burden is one leading indicator of potential economic trouble ahead.
instruments that convey the rights, but not the obligation to engage in a future transaction on an underlying security or in a future contract.
other energy sector
IEA use of this term covers the use of energy by transformation industries and the energy losses in converting primary energy into a form that can be used in the final consuming sectors. It includes losses by gas works, petroleum refineries, coal and gas transformation and liquefaction. It also includes energy used in coal mines, in oil and gas extraction and in electricity and heat
as the term is used by the IEA, include geothermal, solar, wind, tide/wave/ocean energy for electricity generation. The direct use of geothermal and solar heat is also included in this category.
directly convert solar energy into electricity using a PV cell; this is a semiconductor device.
plug-in hybrid electric vehicle
contains both an internalcombustion engine and a motor with battery pack. In contrast, a regular hybrid vehicle does not have enough battery storage on board to make worthwhile the addition of plug-in capability. PHEVs tend to have a shorter electric-driving range than EVs, but conversely have the benefit of a back-up internal combustion engine should the battery get drained.
fuel use in electricity plants, heat plants and combined heat and power (CHP) plants. Both main activity producer plants and small plants that produce fuel for their own use (autoproducers) are included.
a cap set on the price of traded emissions allowances.
money invested in companies that are not publicly traded on a stock exchange or invested as part of buyouts of publicly traded companies in order to make them private companies.
the financing of long-term infrastructure, industrial projects and public services, based upon a non-recourse or limited recourse financial structure where project debt and equity used to finance the project are paid back from the cashflow generated by the project.
purchasing power parity (PPP)
quotas for CO2 emissions
the portion or share of total allowable CO2 emissions assigned to a country or group of countries within a framework of maximum total emissions.
energy that is derived from natural processes (e.g. sunlight and wind) that are replenished at a higher rate than they are consumed. Solar, wind, geothermal, hydro, and biomass are common sources of renewable energy.
for World Energy Outlook
- The Current Policies Scenario assumes no changes in policies from the mid-point of the year of publication (previously called the Reference Scenario).
- The New Policies Scenario – the World Energy Outlook's central scenario – A scenario in the World Energy Outlook which takes account of broad policy commitments and plans that have been announced by countries, including national pledges to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and plans to phase out fossil-energy subsidies, even if the measures to implement these commitments have yet to be identified or announced.
- 450 Scenario sets out an energy pathway that is consistent with a 50% chance of meeting the goal of limiting the long-term increase in average global temperature to 2 °C compared with pre-industrial levels.
for Energy Technology Perspectives
- The 6°C Scenario (6DS) is largely an extension of current trends. By 2050, energy use almost doubles (compared with 2009) and total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions rise even more. In the absence of efforts to stabilise atmospheric concentrations of GHGs, average global temperature rise is projected to be at least 6°C in the long term. The 6DS is broadly consistent with the World Energy Outlook Current Policy Scenario.
- The 4°C Scenario (4DS) takes into account recent pledges made by countries to limit emissions and step up efforts to improve energy efficiency. It serves as the primary benchmark in Energy Technology Perspectives when comparisons are made among scenarios. Projecting a long-term temperature rise of 4°C, the 4DS is broadly consistent with the World Energy Outlook New Policies Scenario. In many respects, this is already an ambitious scenario that requires significant changes in policy and technologies. Moreover, capping the temperature increase at 4°C requires significant additional cuts in emissions in the period after 2050.
- The 2°C Scenario (2DS) is the focus of Energy Technology Perspectives and its related publications. The 2DS describes an energy system consistent with an emissions trajectory that recent climate science research indicates would give an 80% chance of limiting average global temperature increase to 2°C. It sets the target of cutting energy-related CO2 emissions by more than half in 2050 (compared with 2009) and ensuring that they continue to fall thereafter. Importantly, the 2DS acknowledges that transforming the energy sector is vital, but not the sole solution: the goal can only be achieved provided that CO2 and other GHG emissions in non-energy sectors are also reduced. The 2DS is broadly consistent with the World Energy Outlook 450 Scenario.
- The 450 Scenario sets out an energy pathway consistent with the goal of limiting the global increase in temperature to 2°C by limiting concentration of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere to around 450 parts per million of CO2-equivalent.
an electricity network that uses digital and other advanced technologies to monitor and manage the transport of electricity from all generation sources to meet the varying electricity demands of end users. Smart grids co-ordinate the needs and capabilities of all generators, grid operators, end users and electricity market stakeholders to operate all parts of the system as efficiently as possible, minimising costs and environmental impacts while maximising system reliability, resilience and stability.
The European Smart Meters Industry Group defines four minimum functionalities of a smart meter: remote reading, two-way communication, support for advanced tariffing and payment systems, and remote disablement and enablement of supply.
the price that is quoted for immediate settlement of a transaction.
all other hard coal that is not classified as coking coal. Also included are recovered slurries, middlings and other low-grade coal products not further classified by type. Coal of this quality is also commonly known as thermal coal.
as monitored by the IEA, any government action directed primarily at the energy sector that lowers the cost of energy production, raises the price received by energy producers or lowers the price paid by energy consumers.
a synthetic gas primarily composed of hydrogen and carbon monoxide produced by a chemical process.
any liquid fuel obtained from coal, natural gas or biomass. The best known process is the Fischer-Tropsch synthesis. An intermediate step in the production of synthetic fuel is often syngas, a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen produced from coal which is sometimes directly used as an industrial fuel.
(two definitions) the process of converting scientific findings from research laboratories into useful products by the private sector; second definition is used more in economic development literature and involves cross-border transmission of technology from one country to another.
total final consumption
the sum of consumption by the different end-use sectors. TFC is broken down into energy demand in the following sectors: industry, transport, buildings (including residential and services) and other (including agriculture and non-energy use). It excludes international marine and aviation bunkers, except at world level where it is included in the transport sector.
total primary energy demand
represents domestic demand only and is broken down into power generation, other energy sector and total final consumption.
total primary energy supply
equivalent to total primary energy demand. TPES represents inland demand only and, except for world energy demand, excludes international marine and aviation bunkers.
the use of fuelwood, charcoal, animal dung and agricultural residues in stoves with very low efficiencies.
refers under IEA statistical purposes to fuels and electricity used in the transport of goods or persons within the national territory irrespective of the economic sector within which the activity occurs. This includes fuel and electricity delivered to vehicles using public roads or for use in rail vehicles; fuel delivered to vessels for domestic navigation; fuel delivered to aircraft for domestic aviation; and energy consumed in the delivery of fuels through pipelines. Fuel delivered to international marine and aviation bunkers is presented only at the world level and is excluded from the transport sector at the domestic level.
sources of gas trapped deep underground by impermeable rocks, such as coal, sandstone and shale. The three main types of "unconventional" gas are: shale gas (found in shale deposits); coalbed methane, or CBM (extracted from coal beds) and tight gas (which is trapped underground in impermeable rock formations). While different techniques are applied, depending on the type of gas being extracted, one common method is known as hydraulic fracturing: large volumes of water (mixed with some sand and chemicals) are injected underground to create cracks in the rock, freeing the trapped gas so it can flow into the well bore created by the drill and be collected. Another key technology is horizontal drilling which enables the exposure of significantly more surface to the well.
includes oil shale, oil sands-based extra heavy oil and bitumen, derivatives such as synthetic crude products, and liquids derived from natural gas – gas-to-liquid (GTL) or coal-to-liquid (CTL).
barrels per day
billion cubic metres
barrels of oil equivalent
British thermal unit
cubic foot or ft3
cubic metre or m3
101 deca (da) - 10-1 deci (d)
102 hecto (h) - 10-2 centi (c)
103 kilo (k) - 10-3 milli (m)
106 mega (M) - 10-6 micro (µ)
109 giga (G) - 10-9 nano (n)
1012 tera (T) - 10-12 pico (p)
1015 peta (P) - 10-15 femto (f)
1018 exa (E) - 10-18 atto (a)
exajoule (1 joule x 1018)
gallon (US or UK)
gramme of coal equivalent
gramme of carbon dioxide per kilometre
gramme of carbon dioxide per kilowatt-hour
giga-hectare (1 hectare x 109)
gigajoule (1 joule x 109)
gigajoule per tonne
gigatonne (1 tonne x 109)
gigatonne of carbon-dioxide equivalent (using 100-year global warming potentials for different greenhouse gases)
gigawatt (1 Watt x 109)
gigawatt thermal (1 Watt x 109)
hectare (10 000 m2)
thousand barrels per day
kilogramme of carbon-dioxide equivalent
kilometre per hour
kilowatt thermal capacity
million barrels per day
miles per gallon
million metric tonnes
Million tonnes of coal equivalent
Million tonnes of oil equivalent
parts per million (volume)
tonne = metric tonne = 1 000 kg
tonnes per year
thousand cubic feet
trillion cubic metres
watt (1 joule per second)