Electricity Basics

How is it generated and transmitted?

electric generationElectricity is a secondary energy source, which means it is generated from a primary source, usually a natural resource such as solar, oil, coal, natural gas, nuclear, water or wind. Most electricity in the United States comes from steam-powered generating plants that burn fossil fuels- coal, oil or natural gas- or use nuclear energy to heat water, thereby producing steam. The steam spins a turbine, which is connected to a generator. The generator uses large magnets and coils of copper wire to create an electric current that is sent through the power lines, which can be above or below the ground.

Renewable resources can generate electricity as well. Hydropower, wind, solar, geothermal and biomass are sources that are used to generate electricity.





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