I took the glossary from the Preservation Green Lab study, and I’ll use it for additional keywords to expand my lit review:
Biomass—organic matter, usually plant material, that is grown or gathered to generate
electricity or produce heat, often through incineration. Grassy crops, wood
and waste wood products, forest residues (such as dead trees, branches, and tree
stumps), yard clippings, wood chips, and garbage are common elements used as
biomass. See also “renewable energy.”
Eco-district—a neighborhood or district with a broad commitment to accelerate
Geothermal energy—power extracted from heat stored in the earth, which involves
drilling deep into the earth’s core to access consistent high temperatures. Heat
pumps work by tapping the differential between ambient air temperature and the
temperature of an adjacent source (such as ground or water) in order to provide
heating or cooling. Ground-source heat pumps use the constant temperature
of the ground to provide a base temperature for delivering heat to buildings.
Although not technically the same as “geothermal” energy sources, the terms tend
to be used interchangeably for any heat pump system that taps into the ground.
Heat pumps can also be used to capture waste heat sources from nearby liquids
such as sewer systems or lakes (for cooling).
Greenhouse gas (GHG ) emissions—refers to the carbon, methane, and other gases
believed to be detrimental to air quality and to have long-term negative effects on
climate, which are typically released when fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas, or
oil are combusted to create energy or heat.
Load(s)—refers to the aggregate demand for energy from a given customer base.
Load estimates are used to determine the size of physical systems and how much
revenue will be generated from an energy system.
Renewa ble energy—typically refers to energy that comes from natural resources
such as sun, wind, tides, rivers, and geothermal heat, which are naturally replenished.
Biomass is also generally considered to be a “renewable” fuel in the sense
that new plant material can be regrown to replace what has been harvested.
Urban village—an urban planning concept referring to low- to medium-rise, mixed-use,
compact traditional neighborhoods offering a wide variety of businesses and
services within a small area, which historically developed within walking distance
of downtowns or were linked to downtowns by streetcars; the term is also applied
today to new urban developments that try to incorporate the same characteristics.
Utility—typically an organization that builds, operates, and maintains an essential
infrastructure service such as power, water, sewer, or waste collection on a districtor
city-wide basis, also referred to as a “public utility.”
Waste heat—refers to heat that is generated as a by-product of power generation
or other industrial or manufacturing processes. Even sewer treatment plants and
sewer pipes are sources of waste heat. “Waste heat recovery” or “waste heat capture”
refers to the practice of capturing waste heat for productive uses instead of
simply letting it dissipate into the air. Some district energy plants use waste heat as
the source of thermal energy for heating their water.