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Home  > Article

Buzzwords You'll Need to Know in the Energy Industry

By Erdin Beshimov

The energy and utilities industry is in constant flux. Change occurs and new terms are invented almost every day. Here's a quick update on the industry's most recent buzzwords.

Integrated Company

A company engaged in all five areas of exploration, production, refining, transportation, and marketing of energy sources. 


Kyoto Protocol

Officially known as the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, it is an amendment to the international treaty on climate change.  The protocol assigns the more than 160 signatory nations mandatory targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. At the time of this writing, neither the United States nor Australia had ratified the protocol.


Climate Change

Refers to the variation in the Earth's climate over time and describes changes in the average state of the atmosphere.  Climate change can be driven by Earth's internal dynamics, external influence (eg. variation in sunlight intensity), or by human activities (eg. emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere).  


Green Energy

Environmentally-friendly sources of energy, which are often renewable and non-polluting. Today, increasing investments are being made in developing sustainable sources of green energy. 


Environmental Conservation

Process of analysis and development of safe and environmentally-friendly ways to extract, refine, transport, and market natural resources like oil, gas, lumber, and iron ore.


Exxon Valdez

Oil tanker that collided with a reef at Alaska's Prince Edward Sound and dumped 10 million gallons of crude oil into the waters in 1989. The catastrophe produced the worst environmental disaster ever recorded in North American history and served as a catalyst for tightening environmental regulations. 


Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)

An international cartel of oil-producing, oil-exporting countries. OPEC's twelve members are Algeria, Angola, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela.


Renewable Energy

Energy that can be replenished at the same rate as it is used.  This energy is obtained from sources such as wind, sunlight (solar), water (hydro), organic matter (biomass), and the Earth's internal heat (geothermal).  Solar radiation is the prime source of renewable energy. 


Non-renewable Natural Resource

Resource that does not self-replenish and cannot be re-grown or re-made, at least in humanly feasible periods of time.  Fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas are considered to be non-renewable resources. 



The process of transforming consumed products into new materials and products.  Recycling prevents useful materials from being wasted, decreases consumption of raw materials, and diminishes the strain on the environment. 



In economic terms, scarcity refers to the limited nature of certain resources where their availability is not sufficient to satisfy unlimited consumption.   



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