English Glossary

Since 02.06.2017

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back-up system

An additional heating device which will provide heat when the solar thermal system cannot (same as auxiliary system)

background noise level

Noise level already present in an environment, e.g. prior to the installation of a wind turbine.

Balance of System

All components of a PV system, excluding the PV modules. BoS includes components such as mounting structures, tracking systems, inverters and other electronics, transformers, cabling, connectors, switches, fuses, lightning and surge protection, and storage technologies in the case of off-grid systems. Sometimes even labor costs and land are considered to be a part of the BoS costs of a system.

balance sheet

The accounts which show assets, liabilities, net worth/shareholders’ equity.

balancing valve

A valve that controls fluid flow in a system (e.g. in parallel branches of a piping system)


The state or condition of being 'bankable'. A project is 'bankable' if it is considered capable of being financed (economically viable).


A project is 'bankable' if it is capable of being financed.


builders' all risk

barrel of oil equivalent

(BOE) the amount of energy contained in a barrel of crude oil, i.e. approx. 6.1 GJ, equivalent to 1,700 kWh.


Traditionally considered any chemical compound that, when dissolved in water, gives a solution with a pH greater than 7.0.

base case

A cash flow projection with variables measured at their expected values.

basis point

1/100 of 1%, one-hundredth of one percent, 0.0001.

basis risk

Type of risk in which the exposure and the hedging instrument are not perfectly matched or correlated.

batch feed

A process by which the digester / reactor is filled with feedstock in discrete amounts, rather than continuously.


An electric battery is a device consisting of two or more electrochemical cells that convert stored chemical energy into electrical energy.


Business as usual

Best Available Techniques Reference

Also "Best Available Techniques Reference Document“ or "BAT Reference“ or "BAT Reference Document". These documents are provided by the European Union and contain (among others) information on a specific industrial/agricultural sector, on the techniques and processes used in this sector, current emission and consumption levels, techniques to consider in the determination of the best available techniques and emerging techniques.

biochemical conversion

The use of biochemical processes to produce fuels and chemicals from organic sources.


Renewable energy generated from materials derived from biological sources, e.g. wood, organic waste, energy crops, agricultural residues. (Syn. biomass energy)


Biofuels are fuels which are derived from plants/biomass. The term covers liquid fuels and upgraded biogas for transportation purposes. Public and scientific interest in biofuels focusses on bioethanol and biodiesel.

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