The following definitions reflect those used by the International Energy Agency (IEA); definitions used by other organisations and publications may vary.
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
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).
barrels per day
billion cubic metres
barrels of oil equivalent
British thermal unit