By ENGIE - 29 April 2012 - 12:00



  • Biofuel


Fuel produced from plant- or animal-derived materials.


  • Biogas


Biogas is a gas containing methane and carbon dioxide. It is produced by a process called methanation in which biomass – all plant- or animal-derived organic materials that can be burned as a source of energy – is fermented in an oxygen-free environment. Following treatment, it can then be used as a fuel.


  • Biomass


Mass comprising organic material of biological, plant or animal origin. A proportion of this resource can potentially be used to generate energy (heat and power) or for agricultural purposes via combustion.


Did you know?


  • Biomass is the world’s second-largest renewable source of energy.

  • With more than 50 facilities in Europe, the USA and Brazil, ENGIE uses more than 2 million metric tons of organic material every year to generate energy!


  • Biomethane


Also known as ‘green gas’, biomethane is a non-toxic gas produced from organic waste. The process of breaking down this material in an oxygen-free environment produces biogas, which is then purified to become biomethane. This can then be used as a vehicle fuel, distributed in the mains gas supply or used to generate green power.


  • Vehicle Natural Gas (VNG)


Containing 100% natural gas, VNG emits lower levels of CO2, nitrogen oxides and harmful particulates than gasoline. VNG is also economic to use.


  • Green power


Green power is electrical power certified as generated from renewable sources.


  • Renewables


Energy generated from natural resources (sun, wind, water or earth) causing little or no waste or polluting emissions; they are either inexhaustible or can be rapidly regenerated by human intervention. They include hydropower, biomass, onshore and offshore wind, solar and marine geothermal.


Did you know?


  • ENGIE is committed to doubling its installed renewable energy generating capacity to 16,000 MW by 2025.

  • Renewables are forecast to account for a quarter of all the world’s power generation by 2020, and a third by 2040.

Source: International Energy Agency


  • EnR


French abbreviation of Énergies Renouvelables (renewables)


  • Offshore wind


An offshore wind turbine works in exactly the same way as an onshore unit; the only difference being that it is installed at sea. Offshore wind turbines use the power of sea winds to generate larger quantities of energy with no CO2 emissions. Special finishes protect it from saline winds and corrosion.


Did you know?


On average, an offshore wind generator produces around twice as much power as its onshore counterpart.


  • Onshore wind


Onshore wind turbines harness the strength of the wind to convert its kinetic energy into mechanical energy, which is then used to generate electricity.


Did you know?


  • The development of onshore wind power is a priority for ENGIE, which is now the top generator of wind power in France and Belgium, and an international industry leader with 3,668 MW of installed capacity worldwide.

  • Wind power accounts for 21.6% of all energy generated from renewable sources by ENGIE, which operates more than 200 sites worldwide.

  • In France, the Group broke through the 1,200 MW barrier for operational wind power generation in 2012, and aims to increase that to 2,000 MW by 2017.


  • Marine geothermal


Marine geothermal exploits the difference in temperature between warmer surface water and the cold water found at greater depths, which is pumped using pipelines up to 1 kilometer long. Heat exchangers and heat pumps are then used to generate heating or cooling energy, as required. The heated or cooled water is then piped to individual buildings for space heating or air conditioning.


Did you know?


ENGIE has set itself the goal of generating 200 MW from marine renewables by 2020.


  • VNG


The abbreviation for Vehicle Natural Gas.


  • Hydropower


Hydropower converts the energy of moving water into electricity.


Did you know?


Hydropower contributes around 90% of energy from renewable sources worldwide, and accounts for 14% of ENGIE installed generating capacity.


  • Renewable energy intermittency


This term describes the inability of renewable sources to provide an assured continuity of power generation. This is the case with wind power and solar power, where generation ceases in the absence of wind and the hours of darkness respectively. This intermittent availability poses a major challenge for power distributors, which need to have predictable quantities of electricity available at all times.


  • Power-to-Gas


Wind power generators work only when there is sufficient wind, and solar panels only during daylight hours. This intermittency makes it impossible to provide a continual response to energy demand. Our Power-to-Gas process makes it possible to store energy from renewable sources in the form of hydrogen or methane syngas: this solution of the future will enable resources to be managed more optimally going forward.


  • Solar


Solar power is generated by harnessing the sun’s energy as it reaches the Earth. We can make use of that energy in two ways:


  • Either using solar collectors – including solar panels – to convert the sun’s radiation into heat. This solar thermal heat is then distributed in a closed system that uses water or air as the heat carrier.
  • Or using photovoltaic cells contained in a solar panel, which convert solar energy into electrical power. That power is then used locally in the building that generated it, or is fed into the power distribution grid. This method is known as solar photovoltaic.


Did you know?


  • Every 50 minutes, the sun provides enough energy to meet the consumption needs of everyone on the planet for a whole year.

  • ENGIE leads the solar power market in France.


  • Concentrated solar power


Concentrated solar power refers to a set of clean and sustainable technologies developed to generate energy on the grand scale. Large arrays of mirrors are used to concentrate solar radiation and use its heat to generate high-temperature steam from water. This steam can then power a turbine to generate electricity or be used directly in many different applications, including desalination, assisted hydrocarbon recovery and other industrial processes. Heat storage solutions make it possible for CSP systems to provide steam continuously, even after sunset.


Did you know?

Today, solar power generates less than 1% of electricity worldwide, but according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), that proportion is set to leap to between 10% and 15% by 2050 with the arrival of concentrated solar power (CSP).