Electricity generation

Turbo generator
A comparison of prices over time for energy from nuclear fission and from other sources. Over the presented time, thousands of wind turbines and similar were built on assembly lines in mass production resulting in an economy of scale.
Our World in Data notes that these costs are an effort to represent the global average. Which is driven by chinese forced labor practices in solar and wind,
 that manufactured, installed and exported the most globally,  
 bankrupting US and German solar industries, multiple times, over the time indicated.  In which, the manufacturing of panels were suggested to be 30% of solar costs in the largest production facility in the west, before labor costs were included, which they argue China do not pay, upon declaring its bankruptcy. While the 2 projects that drove average nuclear pricing upwards were 2 first of their kind AP1000s in the US/west. The organization recognises that the median cost of nuclear, the most exported and produced nuclear energy facility in the 2010s the 7 South Korean APR1400, remained "constant", including in export. No data on the 18 Chinese domestic nuclear, CPR1000 were included. LCOE is a measure of the average net present cost of electricity generation for a generating plant over its lifetime. As a metric, it remains controversial as the lifespan of units are not independent but manufacturer projections, not a demonstrated longevity.
Dynamos and engine installed at Edison General Electric Company, New York 1895
Wind turbines usually provide electrical generation in conjunction with other methods of producing power.
Large dams, such as Hoover Dam in the United States, can provide large amounts of hydroelectric power. It has an installed capacity of 2.07 GW.
A large generator with the rotor removed
Large dams such as Three Gorges Dam in China can provide large amounts of hydroelectric power; it has a 22.5 GW capability.
Energy flow of power plant

Process of generating electric power from sources of primary energy.

- Electricity generation

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Wind power

Wind farm in Xinjiang, China
Electricity production by source
Global map of wind speed at 100 m above surface level.
Roscoe Wind Farm in West Texas
Distribution of wind speed (red) and energy (blue) for all of 2002 at the Lee Ranch facility in Colorado. The histogram shows measured data, while the curve is the Rayleigh model distribution for the same average wind speed.
The world's second full-scale floating wind turbine (and first to be installed without the use of heavy-lift vessels), WindFloat, operating at rated capacity (2 MW) approximately 5 km offshore of Póvoa de Varzim, Portugal
Wind energy generation by region over time
Wind generation by country
Share of electricity production from wind, 2020
Wind turbines are typically installed in windy locations. In the image, wind power generators in Spain, near an Osborne bull.
Seasonal cycle of capacity factors for wind and photovoltaics in Europe under idealized assumptions. The figure illustrates the balancing effects of wind and solar energy at the seasonal scale (Kaspar et al., 2019).
Onshore wind cost per kilowatt-hour between 1983 and 2017
A turbine blade convoy passing through Edenfield in the U.K. (2008). Even longer 2-piece blades are now manufactured, and then assembled on-site to reduce difficulties in transportation.
A small Quietrevolution QR5 Gorlov type vertical axis wind turbine on the roof of Colston Hall in Bristol, England. Measuring 3 m in diameter and 5 m high, it has a nameplate rating of 6.5 kW.
Livestock grazing near a wind turbine.
Part of the Seto Hill Windfarm in Japan.
Wind turbines such as these, in Cumbria, England, have been opposed for a number of reasons, including aesthetics, by some sectors of the population.
A panoramic view of the United Kingdom's Whitelee Wind Farm with Lochgoin Reservoir in the foreground.
Charles F. Brush's windmill of 1888, used for generating electric power.

Wind power or wind energy is mostly the use of wind turbines to generate electricity.


Process of powering by electricity and, in many contexts, the introduction of such power by changing over from an earlier power source.

Faraday disk, the first electric generator. The horseshoe-shaped magnet (A) created a magnetic field through the disk (D). When the disk was turned, this induced an electric current radially outward from the center toward the rim. The current flowed out through the sliding spring contact m, through the external circuit, and back into the center of the disk through the axle.
Yablochkov's demonstration of his brilliant arc lights at the 1878 Paris Exposition along the Avenue de l'Opéra triggered a steep sell off of gas utility stocks.
Electricity grid simple- North America
Electricity Grid Schematic English
Three-phase rotating magnetic field of an AC motor. The three poles are each connected to a separate wire. Each wire carries current 120 degrees apart in phase. Arrows show the resulting magnetic force vectors. Three phase current is used in commerce and industry.
An 1899 Parsons steam turbine linked directly to a dynamo
Construction workers raising power lines, 1920
Threshing machine in 1881.
Electrified transport and heat are key parts of investment for the renewable energy transition
Hybrid Power System
Construction of salt tanks to store thermal energy

Broadly speaking, electrification was the build-out of the electricity generation and electric power distribution systems that occurred in Britain, the United States, and other now-developed countries from the mid-1880s until around 1950 and is still in progress in rural areas in some developing countries.

Electric power industry

Electric power is transmitted on overhead lines like these, and also on underground high-voltage cables
Bolsward Substation, the Netherlands
Transmission lines in Romania of which the nearest is a Phase Transposition Tower
High tension line in Montreal, Quebec, Canada
The Athlone Power Station in Cape Town, South Africa
500 kV Three-phase electric power Transmission Lines at Grand Coulee Dam; four circuits are shown; two additional circuits are obscured by trees on the right; the entire 7079 MW generation capacity of the dam is accommodated by these six circuits.
A 50 kVA pole-mounted distribution transformer

The electric power industry covers the generation, transmission, distribution and sale of electric power to the general public and industry.

Thomas Edison

American inventor and businessman.

Edison, c. 1922
Edison as a boy, 1861
Edison's Menlo Park Laboratory, reconstructed at Greenfield Village at Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan
Photograph of Edison with his phonograph (2nd model), taken in Mathew Brady's Washington, D.C. studio in April 1878
Thomas Edison's first successful model of light bulb, used in public demonstration at Menlo Park, December 1879
U.S. Patent #223898: Electric-Lamp, issued January 27, 1880
The Oregon Railroad and Navigation Company's new steamship, the Columbia, was the first commercial application for Edison's incandescent light bulb in 1880.
Extravagant displays of electric lights quickly became a feature of public events, as in this picture from the 1897 Tennessee Centennial Exposition.
Thomas A. Edison Industries Exhibit, Primary Battery section, 1915
Share of the Edison Storage Battery Company, issued October 19, 1903
Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and Harvey Firestone, respectively. Ft. Myers, Florida, February 11, 1929
Mina Miller Edison in 1906
Portrait of Edison by Abraham Archibald Anderson (1890), National Portrait Gallery
Thomas Edison commemorative stamp, issued on the 100th anniversary of his birth in 1947
Statue of young Thomas Edison by the railroad tracks in Port Huron, Michigan. The Blue Water Bridge can be seen in the background.
Edison in 1915

He developed many devices in fields such as electric power generation, mass communication, sound recording, and motion pictures.

Gas-fired power plant

A cogeneration plant in Berlin
Fingrid Oyj's gas turbine power plant in Forssa, Finland
Gateway Generating Station, a combined-cycle gas-fired power station in California.

A gas-fired power plant or gas-fired power station or natural gas power plant is a thermal power station which burns natural gas to generate electricity.

Electric utility

Electric power is transmitted on overhead lines like these, and also on underground high-voltage cables

An electric utility is a company in the electric power industry (often a public utility) that engages in electricity generation and distribution of electricity for sale generally in a regulated market.


The Three Gorges Dam in Central China is the world's largest power–producing facility of any kind.
Museum Hydroelectric power plant ″Under the Town″ in Serbia, built in 1900.
The Warwick Castle water-powered generator house, used for the generation of electricity for the castle from 1894 until 1940
A micro-hydro facility in Vietnam
Pico hydroelectricity in Mondulkiri, Cambodia
Measurement of the tailrace and forebay rates at the Limestone Generating Station in Manitoba, Canada.
The Ffestiniog Power Station can generate 360 MW of electricity within 60 seconds of the demand arising.
Merowe Dam in Sudan. Hydroelectric power stations that use dams submerge large areas of land due to the requirement of a reservoir. These changes to land color or albedo, alongside certain projects that concurrently submerge rainforests, can in these specific cases result in the global warming impact, or equivalent life-cycle greenhouse gases of hydroelectricity projects, to potentially exceed that of coal power stations.
The Hoover Dam in the United States is a large conventional dammed-hydro facility, with an installed capacity of 2,080 MW.
World renewable energy share (2008)
Trends in the top five hydroelectricity-producing countries
Share of electricity production from hydropower, 2020

Hydroelectricity, or hydroelectric power, is electricity produced from hydropower.

Tidal power

Harnessed by converting energy from tides into useful forms of power, mainly electricity using various methods.

Sihwa Lake Tidal Power Station, located in Gyeonggi Province, South Korea, is the world's largest tidal power installation, with a total power output capacity of 254 MW.
Variation of tides over a day
The world's first commercial-scale and grid-connected tidal stream generator – SeaGen – in Strangford Lough. The strong wake shows the power in the tidal current.
Top-down diagram of a DTP dam. Blue and dark red colours indicate low and high tides, respectively.
Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy (RITE) installation of three Verdant Power underwater 35-kilowatt turbines on a single triangular base (called a TriFrame) off the coast of New York City's Roosevelt Island on October 22, 2020.

Although not yet widely used, tidal energy has the potential for future electricity generation.


Combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock, formed as rock strata called coal seams.

Example chemical structure of coal
Coastal exposure of the Point Aconi Seam in Nova Scotia
Coal ranking system used by the United States Geological Survey
Chinese coal miners in an illustration of the Tiangong Kaiwu encyclopedia, published in 1637
Coal miner in Britain, 1942
Coke oven at a smokeless fuel plant in Wales, United Kingdom
Production of chemicals from coal
Castle Gate Power Plant near Helper, Utah, US
Coal rail cars
Bulldozer pushing coal in Ljubljana Power Station, Slovenia
Extensive coal docks seen in Toledo, Ohio, 1895
Coal production by region
Aerial photograph of the site of the Kingston Fossil Plant coal fly ash slurry spill taken the day after the event
Protesting damage to the Great Barrier Reef caused by climate change in Australia
Tree houses for protesting the felling of part of Hambach Forest for the Hambach surface mine in Germany: after which the felling was suspended in 2018
A coal mine in Wyoming, United States. The United States has the world's largest coal reserves.

In 2020 coal supplied about a quarter of the world's primary energy and over a third of its electricity.

Electric power transmission

Five-hundred kilovolt (500 kV) Three-phase electric power Transmission Lines at Grand Coulee Dam; four circuits are shown; two additional circuits are obscured by trees on the far right; the entire 7079 MW nameplate generation capacity of the dam is accommodated by these six circuits.
Diagram of an electric power system; transmission system is in blue
Five-hundred kilovolt (500 kV) three-phase transmission tower in Washington State, line is "Bundled" 3-ways
Three abreast Electrical Pylons in Webster, Texas
New York City streets in 1890. Besides telegraph lines, multiple electric lines were required for each class of device requiring different voltages
Working for Westinghouse, William Stanley Jr. spent his time recovering from illness in Great Barrington installing what is considered the world's first practical AC transformer system.
Westinghouse alternating current polyphase generators on display at the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago, part of their "Tesla Poly-phase System". Such polyphase innovations revolutionized transmission
A transmission substation decreases the voltage of incoming electricity, allowing it to connect from long-distance high voltage transmission, to local lower voltage distribution. It also reroutes power to other transmission lines that serve local markets. This is the PacifiCorp Hale Substation, Orem, Utah, USA
The synchronous grids of Europe
A high-power electrical transmission tower, 230 kV, double-circuit, also double-bundled
A 115 kV subtransmission line in the Philippines, along with 20 kV distribution lines and a street light, all mounted in a wood subtransmission pole
115 kV H-frame transmission tower
Electrical grid without a transformer.
Electrical grid with a transformer.
"Black box" model for transmission line
Voltage on sending and receiving ends for lossless line
High voltage pylons carrying additional optical fibre cable in Kenya

Electric power transmission is the bulk movement of electrical energy from a generating site, such as a power plant, to an electrical substation.