Glossary Glossary

The following definitions reflect those used by the International Energy Agency (IEA); definitions used by other organisations and publications may vary.

BAT

best available technology

BAU

business-as-usual, implying no change in policies, no government intervention

BCC

biomass co-combustion

BEV

battery electric vehicles

BF

blast furnace

BFBC

bubbling fluidised-bed combustion (boiler type)

BIGCC

biomass-integrated gasification with combined cycle

Bio-SNG

bio-synthetic natural gas

BOF

basic oxygen furnace

BPT

best practical technology

BRIC

Brazil, Russia, India, China

BRICS

Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa

BRIICS

Brazil, Russia, India, Indonesia, South Africa

BTL

biomass-to-liquids

backwardation

Market situation in which futures prices are progressively lower in the distant delivery months. For instance, if the gold quotation for January is $960.00 per ounce and that for June is $945.00 per ounce, the backwardation for five months against January 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.

biodiesel

a diesel-equivalent, processed fuel made from the esterification (a chemical process that removes glycerine from oil) of both vegetable oils and animal fats.

biofuels

fuels derived from biomass or waste feedstocks; includes ethanol and biodiesel.

biogas

a mixture of methane and CO2 produced by bacterial degradation of organic matter and used as a fuel.

biomass

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.

biomass-to-liquids

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.

black liquor

a by-product from chemical pulping processes that consists of lignin residue combined with water and the chemicals used for extracting lignin.

bond

a formal contract to repay borrowed money with interest at fixed intervals.

brown coal

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.

Budget Committee

Committee on Budget and Expenditure (of the IEA); also indicated as CBE

bunkers

includes both international marine bunkers and international aviation bunkers (see respective category definitions).

b/d

barrels per day

bbl

barrel

bcm

billion cubic metres

bn

billion

boe

 barrels of oil equivalent

bt

billion tonnes

Btu

British thermal unit