Electricity Glossary

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C

Consumption
  • End use of energy and energy sources, such as electrical energy, typically measured in kilowatt-hours; or natural gas, typically measured in thousands of cubic feet or millions of British thermal units, or crude oil and petroleum products, usually measured in litres or barrels.
Current
  • The flow of electrons in an electrical conductor. Current is measured in amperes.
D

Deregulation
  • The process of changing natural gas or electricity market regulations to allow a greater role for market forces to balance supply and demand and set prices. It does not mean the absence of regulation.
E

Environmental assessments
  • Planning and decision-making tool used by industry and regulators to identify the environmental impacts and costs of proposed energy projects, and potential solutions. Power companies are potentially subject to environmental assessments for new power projects or changes to existing facilities.
G

Generator
  • An arrangement of magnets spinning inside a coil of wire to produce electricity.
K

Kilovolt (kV)
  • A measure of electromotive force equivalent to 1,000 volts. Differences in electromotive force drive electric currents.
T

Thermal electricity
  • Electricity generated from burning fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas and refined petroleum products; biomass such as wood, wood waste, pulping liquors and landfill methane; or other waste materials such as used tires.
Turbine
  • A rotary engine that converts the energy of a moving stream of water, steam or gas into mechanical energy. Turbines are classified as hydraulic (water) turbines, steam turbines or gas turbines. Turbine-power generators produce most of the world's electricity. Windmills that generate electicity are known as wind turbines.
W

Wind energy
  • Energy from moving air which is converted to electricity, by using wind to turn electricity generators.
Wind farm
  • Cluster of wind turbines for generating electricity. These are set up in areas where there are steady and prevalent winds.