ESF Vocab

mikegibbs's version from 2015-12-01 19:17

Section 1 Ch. 1


Question Answer
Energy Servicesthe final service of energy (spinning shafts, hot showers, cold beer)
GDPmeasure of a society's production
Ceteris Paribusall thing being equal
Population Momentum Effectcauses society's age distribution to be disproportionately young- mainly in poor and developing countries
Energy ProductivityGDP/E
IPAT Frameworkgeneral framework to measure the impact of energy use on the environment and social outcomes
Positive Analysisfact based and objective
Normative Analysissubjective and values-based
Systema model that represents how some elements operates
Energy Systema set of interconnected systems
Open v. Closed SystemOpen systems are continually influenced, informed, or constrained by the activities of elements outside the system; Closed System is receives its endowments at the time it is set up and them remains isolated from outside influences
Nested Systemwhere one system fits easily into another system, both of which fits inside a third
Sub-systemsmaller open systems: Electricity system, Transportation system, Thermal system
Marginal Analysissimplifies a relationship to a few variables that are analyzed by holding all other variables constant
Modelconstructed to represent how some elements of the world operate
Leverage Pointssystems are interconnected and any point can be affected by many others; small efforts in one part of the system can create major change in other parts of the system
Non-Linearitieswhen a system surpass a threshold and the dynamics radically alter the behavior to a very different mode
Invisible Handdescribes the optimal societal result that occurs from the dynamic where all people are trying to optimize their individual outcomes even without the need for external governance or intervention
Innovationinventing and creativity for additional advantage in cost or profits
Scarcityimplies our needs and wants will always be greater than our ability to procure them from the resources at hand
Depletionusing up a scarce opportunity that may not readily be replaced or renewed
Constrained Optimizationdemonstrates the relationship between Objectives and Constraints, where an actor tries to maximize or minimize some outcome within the limits imposed by some number of exogenous constraints
Sustainabilityreconciling innovation and depletion


  = Section 2 Ch. 2


Question Answer
Potential Energystored energy: fuels, gravity, nuclear, chemical, elastic
Kinetic Energyenergy of motion: electromagnetic,electrical, thermal, motion
Primary Energyenergy available in nature, cannot be produced and must be delivered to the energy system from the outside
Primary Moversmachines that are used to transfer primary kinetic and potential energy sources into direct and concentrated forms to produce mechanical work: steam engines, ICEs, EVs
Secondary Energyenergy that is used but not available in a primary form: electricity, refined fuels, hydrogen, synthetic fuels
1st Law of Thermodynamicsall energy that enters a closed system must remain in that system as energy, heat, or work produced
2nd Law of Thermodynamicsduring most of the transformations of one type of energy to another, the heat byproduct is lost, or rendered useless
Sankey Diagrama flow diagram that show the proportional contribution to the throughputs across various stages in a system: how much fuel makes it to different forms of consumption and how much is lost through the process
Forecastsextrapolations of current behavior
Scenariossimilar to a forecast, but asks "what if"
Business-as-usual (BAU)current trajectory based on what is happening now
Energyability to do work- neither created or destroyed once in the system, merely a transformed and directed to do work
Powerthe rate at which energy is physically transformed
Useful Energyenergy that created the desired work; if it does not create the desired work, it is wasted
Total Final Consumptionamount of primary energy supply that is consumed after transformation losses
Total System Efficiencyratio: final energy services/ primary energy input
Resourceall energy in nature
Reserveresources become reserves if they can be profitably harnessed with existing technology
CapitalPhysical, financial, intellectual, political, human, natural (pdf. pg. 20)
Stockenergy (electricity, input fuels)
Flowtransformations (generator transforming fuel into electricity)
Feedback Loopcomplete cycle of stocks, flows that continually update each other
Goal-seeking Loopregulates a system to stay within its intended boundaries by detecting whether stocks or flows are too low or high
Reinforcing Loopcause a system that is out of balance to go further in that direction: an avalanche
System Purposeoutcome of a system
Perfect Competitionefficient market that has the best chance of achieving an efficient outcome for buyers and sellers
Arbitrageis finding places where different parts of the market are failing to inform each other's behavior

Section 3 Ch. 3


Question Answer
Market Powerability of one actor to influence the market
Rational Agentproducers are profit-maximizing and consumers are utility-maximizing
Externalitya side effect or consequence of an industrial or commercial activity that affects other parties without this being reflected in the cost of the goods or services involved
Economic Rentsextra amount of wealth gained by a resource (e.g.. land, capital, or labor) by virtue of its present use vs. what it originally cost
Market Barrierrestrictions to market entry
Market Failurewhen markets fail to be perfect: market structure, market scope, information, government policy
Natural Monopolywhen it is only economically feasible to have a single provider
Cartela group of businesses that collude to create anticompetitive behavior
Dumpingwhen a firm enjoys a cost or protected market advantage in their home country and can sell at below market prices in another market and eventually drive out competition in that market
Global Commonspublic goods (items that can be produced relatively cheaply, or that already exist, but for which it is difficult or impossible to prevent users from enjoying or participating in) that collectively affect all of the planet's inhabitants
Free-rider Problempublic goods that producers can never fully recover the cost of delivering them: both paying and non-paying consumers will use
Informational Asymmetrylack of transparency or costs to obtain the necessary information
Principal-Agent Problemwhen a person making a decision (agent) is acting on behalf of the person who will have to bear the consequences of that decision (principle)
Adverse Selectionwhen there is a difference of information between buyers and sellers, particularly with regard to the quality of a good being transacted- seller is better informed than the buyer
Moral Hazardone party changing their behavior after a formal contractual relationship has been established
Crowding Outgovernment behavior that supplants or obviates the need for development of market structures and participants to deliver the same good or service
Regulatory Capturemanipulating regulatory structures to their advantage (enhanced by corruption)
Sovereign Riskunexpected and uncompensated changes in laws or regulations that affect the firm
Behavioral Economicseconomics that tries to examine when behavior may differ from that predicted by rational model of consumers as perfect;y utility-maximizing individuals
Myopianearsightedness where things in the near-term are more clear than things in the future
Heuristicsrules of thumb, shortcuts, optimal responses
Market Interventionsfirms or individuals engage in business transactions, or investments to improve the market
Policy Interventionstools of government to impact energy system: regulation, subsidies, risk mitigation
Price/Quantity Targetsintervening directly in the market to establish price levels, floors, or ceilings/ or establishing required minimum standards (fuel standards) or maximum quantities (carbon emissions)
Subsidies/Tax Breaksalter market economics and may increase market risk if priorities shift and they are rescind
Porter's Five Forcesframework which competition and market power exist: rivalry among existing competitors is influenced by, threat of new entrants, bargaining power of buyers, threat of substitutive products or services, bargaining power of suppliers (pdf. pg. 20)
Evolutionary Dependenceinitial incentives that may evolve into expectations, rights, or endowments that are difficult or costly to remove
Policy Riskmarket uncertainty through policy interventions: frequent changes, anemic interventions, transfers of power
Self-adjusting Mechanismspolicies that include automatic changes in incentive levels or quantities as thresholds of performance


  = Section 4 Ch. 4


Question Answer
Direct Currentunidirectional flow of electrical charge
Alternating Currentbidirectional flow of electrical charge- allows for the conversion of low-voltage into higher voltage electricity using transformers
Transformersconverts low-voltage electricity to high-voltage electricity
Network Effectwhen the value of service increases exponentially with a number of participants on the network
Public Utility Holding Company Actforced utilities to be more closely governed to provide transparency in financial and operational performance, and to obtain regulatory approval for investments consumers would be responsible to reimburse
Busbarpoint where generator connects to the grid
Transmissionmoving electricity over distances- convert to high-voltage (stepping up) and the low-voltage (stepping down) before the consumption
Distributionwhere electricity is delivered to consumers
Frequencynumber of cycles (negative to positive) per minute called a Hertz; 50 Hz (US) or 60 Hz (Europe) is common
Loadelectricity in motion due to the absence of storage; also the amount of electricity demanded
Base Loadportion of the load that is alway being demanded
Peak Loadportion of the load that is demanded when system is operating near its maximum
Load Duration Curvedepicts the year's load
Capacity Factorthe ratio of a power plant's actual output to its potential output at nameplate capacity
Spinning Reservemust be available and operate in sync with other generating assets: provide rapid replacement of any lost generation
Ancillary Servicesphysical planning and system reliability services
Investor Owned Utilitiesstandalone operating entity within a holding company structure that is owned by shareholders
Public Owned Utilitiesowned by the state or municipal government agencies, tend to be less heavily regulated than investor-owned utilities
Cost of Service Recoveryallows the utility to recover its costs and achieve a fair return on investment, but no more
Rate Baseaccumulated amount of investment that is evaluated on an annual basis; it roughly approximates the value of physical capital in service within a utility's operating territory
Stranded Costsassets that are not longer in service
WACCthe weighted average cost of capital, derived from the cost of debt, cost of equity, and relative proportions of debt and equity; the rate that a company is expected to pay on average to all its security holders to finance its assets.
Decouplingseparating the total revenue that can be recovered from the actual Kwh that customers use, primarily intended to incentivize utilities to engage in energy efficiency programs by evaluating changing demand conditions: dissociation of profits from sales
Public Utilities Commissionmanages investment and utility regulatory process
Interconnectionwide area synchronous grid that links large section of the world's energy grids
Intermittencytype of input constraint stemming from resource risk relating to genetic energies such as wind, sun, and wave sources
Debt Service Coverage Ratiocompares how much cash the project generates and is available for payments promised to lenders
Hurdle Rateminimal acceptable internal rate of return (metric for evaluating project viability)
Net Present Valuemetric for evaluating project viability: sums all cash flows and up-front investment costs
Internal Rate of Returnmetric for evaluating project viability: represents the discount rate for a given set of cash flows that would set the NVP for those cars flows equal to zero- higher IRR implies a greater return from the cash flows

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