Electricity generation

Electricity generation is the process of generating electric power from sources of primary energy. For electric utilities in the electric power industry, it is the first stage in the delivery of electricity to end users, the other stages being transmission, distribution, energy storage and recovery, using the pumped-storage method.

A characteristic of electricity is that it is not a primary energy freely present in nature in remarkable amounts and it must be produced. Production is carried out in power stations (also called "power plants"). Electricity is most often generated at a power plant by electromechanical generators, primarily driven by heat engines fueled by combustion or nuclear fission but also by other means such as the kinetic energy of flowing water and wind. Other energy sources include solar photovoltaics and geothermal power.

Electricity grid simple- North America
Diagram of an electric power system, generation system in red


Electricity production in the World
Electricity production in the World, 1980-2013

The fundamental principles of electricity generation were discovered in the 1820s and early 1830s by British scientist Michael Faraday. His method, still used today, is for electricity to be generated by the movement of a loop of wire, or disc of copper between the poles of a magnet. Central power stations became economically practical with the development of alternating current (AC) power transmission, using power transformers to transmit power at high voltage and with low loss.

In 1870, commercial electricity production started with the coupling of the dynamo to the hydraulic turbine. In 1870, the mechanical production of electric power began the Second Industrial Revolution and created inventions using the energy, whose major contributors were Thomas Alva Edison and Nikola Tesla. Previously the only way to produce electricity was by chemical reactions or using battery cells, and the only practical use of electricity was for the telegraph.

Electricity generation at central power stations started in 1882, when a steam engine driving a dynamo at Pearl Street Station produced a DC current that powered public lighting on Pearl Street, New York. The new technology was quickly adopted by many cities around the world, which adapted their gas fueled street lights to electric power, and soon after electric lights would be used in public buildings, in businesses, and to power public transport, such as trams and trains.

The first power plants used water power or coal;[1] and today a variety of energy sources are used, such as coal, nuclear, natural gas, hydroelectric, wind generators, and oil, as well as solar energy, tidal power, and geothermal sources. The use of power-lines and power-poles have been significantly important in the distribution of electricity.

Methods of generating electricity

2016 World [civil] power generation by source [IEA, 2018] (Percentages of 24.973 TWh)[2]

  Coal (38.4%)
  Natural Gas (23.2%)
  Hydro (16.3%)
  Nuclear fission (10.4%)
  Oil (3.7%)
  Non hydro renew. (8%)
U.S. 2014 Electricity Generation By Type
U.S. 2014 Electricity Generation By Type.[3]
Sources of Electricity in France in 2006
Sources of electricity in France in 2006;[4] nuclear power was the main source.

Several fundamental methods exist to convert other forms of energy into electrical energy. The triboelectric effect, piezoelectric effect, and even direct capture of the energy of nuclear decay Betavoltaics are used in niche applications, as is direct conversion of heat to electric power in the thermoelectric effect. Utility-scale generation is done by rotating electric generators, or by photovoltaic systems. A very small proportion of electric power distributed by utilities is provided by batteries.


Electric generators transform kinetic energy into electricity. This is the most used form for generating electricity and is based on Faraday's law. It can be seen experimentally by rotating a magnet within closed loops of a conducting material (e.g. copper wire). Almost all commercial electrical generation is done using electromagnetic induction, in which mechanical energy forces a generator to rotate:


Hoover dam from air
Large dams such as Hoover Dam can provide large amounts of hydroelectric power; it has 2.07 GW capability.

Electrochemistry is the direct transformation of chemical energy into electricity, as in a battery. Electrochemical electricity generation is important in portable and mobile applications. Currently, most electrochemical power comes from batteries.[5] Primary cells, such as the common zinc–carbon batteries, act as power sources directly, but secondary cells (i.e. rechargeable batteries) are used for storage systems rather than primary generation systems. Open electrochemical systems, known as fuel cells, can be used to extract power either from natural fuels or from synthesized fuels. Osmotic power is a possibility at places where salt and fresh water merge.

Photovoltaic effect

The photovoltaic effect is the transformation of light into electrical energy, as in solar cells. Photovoltaic panels convert sunlight directly to electricity. Although sunlight is free and abundant, solar power electricity is still usually more expensive to produce than large-scale mechanically generated power due to the cost of the panels. Low-efficiency silicon solar cells have been decreasing in cost and multijunction cells with close to 30% conversion efficiency are now commercially available. Over 40% efficiency has been demonstrated in experimental systems.[6] Until recently, photovoltaics were most commonly used in remote sites where there is no access to a commercial power grid, or as a supplemental electricity source for individual homes and businesses. Recent advances in manufacturing efficiency and photovoltaic technology, combined with subsidies driven by environmental concerns, have dramatically accelerated the deployment of solar panels. Installed capacity is growing by 40% per year led by increases in Germany, Japan, and the United States.

Turbine aalborg
Wind turbines usually provide electrical generation in conjunction with other methods of producing power.

Economics of generation and production of electricity

The selection of electricity production modes and their economic viability varies in accordance with demand and region. The economics vary considerably around the world, resulting in widespread selling prices, e.g. the price in Venezuela is 3 cents per kWh while in Denmark it is 40 cents per kWh. Hydroelectric plants, nuclear power plants, thermal power plants and renewable sources have their own pros and cons, and selection is based upon the local power requirement and the fluctuations in demand. All power grids have varying loads on them but the daily minimum is the base load, supplied by plants which run continuously. Nuclear, coal, oil and gas plants can supply base load.

Thermal energy is economical in areas of high industrial density, as the high demand cannot be met by renewable sources. The effect of localized pollution is also minimized as industries are usually located away from residential areas. These plants can also withstand variation in load and consumption by adding more units or temporarily decreasing the production of some units. Nuclear power plants can produce a huge amount of power from a single unit. However, recent disasters in Japan have raised concerns over the safety of nuclear power, and the capital cost of nuclear plants is very high. Hydroelectric power plants are located in areas where the potential energy from falling water can be harnessed for moving turbines and the generation of power. It is not an economically viable source of production where the load varies too much during the annual production cycle and the ability to store the flow of water is limited.

Due to advancements in technology, and with mass production, renewable sources other than hydroelectricity (solar power, wind energy, tidal power, etc.) experienced decreases in cost of production, and the energy is now in many cases cost-comparative with fossil fuels. Many governments around the world provide subsidies to offset the higher cost of any new power production, and to make the installation of renewable energy systems economically feasible. However, their use is frequently limited by their intermittent nature. If natural gas prices are below $3 per million British thermal units, generating electricity from natural gas is cheaper than generating power by burning coal.[7]

Generating equipment


Almost all commercial electrical power on Earth is generated with a turbine, driven by wind, water, steam or burning gas. The turbine drives a generator, thus transforming its mechanical energy into electrical energy by electromagnetic induction. There are many different methods of developing mechanical energy, including heat engines, hydro, wind and tidal power. Most electric generation is driven by heat engines. The combustion of fossil fuels supplies most of the energy to these engines, with a significant fraction from nuclear fission and some from renewable sources. The modern steam turbine (invented by Sir Charles Parsons in 1884) currently generates about 80% of the electric power in the world using a variety of heat sources. Turbine types include:

Dreischluchtendamm hauptwall 2006
Large dams such as Three Gorges Dam in China can provide large amounts of hydroelectric power; it has a 22.5 GW capability.

Although turbines are most common in commercial power generation, smaller generators can be powered by gasoline or diesel engines. These may used for back up generation or isolated villages.


Stator winding at WPS
A large generator with the rotor removed

Electric generators were known in simple forms from the discovery of the magnetic induction of electric current in the 1830s. In general, some form of prime mover such as an engine or the turbines described above, drives a rotating magnetic field past stationary coils of wire thereby turning mechanical energy into electricity. A very large 2000 MW(2,682,000 horsepower) unit designed by Siemens was built for unit 3 at the Olkiluoto Nuclear Power Plant.[9] The only commercial scale electricity production that does not employ a generator is solar PV.


Total worldwide gross production of electricity in 2016 was 25,082TWh. Sources of electricity were coal and peat 38.3%, natural gas 23.1%, hydroelectric 16.6%, nuclear power 10.4%, oil 3.7%, solar/wind/geothermal/tidal/other 5.6%, biomass and waste 2.3%.[10]

Source of Electricity (World total year 2008)
- Coal Oil Natural
Nuclear Renewables other Total
Average electric power (TWh/year) 8,263 1,111 4,301 2,731 3,288 568 20,261
Average electric power (GW) 942.6 126.7 490.7 311.6 375.1 64.8 2311.4
Proportion 41% 5% 21% 13% 16% 3% 100%
data source IEA/OECD
Ene Flow Pow Plt uni
Energy Flow of Power Plant

Total energy consumed at all power plants for the generation of electricity was 4,398,768 ktoe (kilo ton of oil equivalent) which was 36% of the total for primary energy sources (TPES) of 2008.
Electricity output (gross) was 1,735,579 ktoe (20,185 TWh), efficiency was 39%, and the balance of 61% was generated heat. A small part (145,141 ktoe, which was 3% of the input total) of the heat was utilized at co-generation heat and power plants. The in-house consumption of electricity and power transmission losses were 289,681 ktoe. The amount supplied to the final consumer was 1,445,285 ktoe (16,430 TWh) which was 33% of the total energy consumed at power plants and heat and power co-generation (CHP) plants.[11]

Historical results of production of electricity

Annual electricity net generation in the world
Annual electricity net generation from renewable energy in the world

Annual electricity net generation in the world
Annual electricity net generation from renewable energy in the world

Production by country

The United States has long been the largest producer and consumer of electricity, with a global share in 2005 of at least 25%, followed by China, Japan, Russia, and India. As of Jan-2010, total electricity generation for the two largest generators was as follows: USA: 3,992 billion kWh (3,992 TWh); China: 3,715 billion kWh (3,715 TWh).

List of countries with source of electricity 2008

Data source of values (electric power generated) is IEA/OECD.[12] Listed countries are top 20 by population or top 20 by GDP (PPP) and Saudi Arabia based on CIA World Factbook 2009.[13]

Composition of Electricity by Resource (TWh per year 2008)
Country's electricity sector Fossil Fuel Nuclear rank Renewable Bio
total rank
Coal Oil Gas sub
rank Hydro Geo
Wind Tide sub
World total 8,263 1,111 4,301 13,675 - 2,731 - 3,288 65 12 0.9 219 0.5 3,584 - 271 20,261 -
Proportion 41% 5.5% 21% 67% - 13% - 16% 0.3% 0.06% 0.004% 1.1% 0.003% 18% - 1.3% 100% -
China China 2,733 23 31 2,788 2 68 8 585 - 0.2 - 13 - 598 1 2.4 3,457 2
India India 569 34 82 685 5 15 12 114 - 0.02 - 14 - 128.02 6 2.0 830 5
United States USA 2,133 58 1011 3,101 1 838 1 282 17 1.6 0.88 56 - 357 4 73 4,369 1
Indonesia Indonesia 61 43 25 130 19 - - 12 8.3 - - - - 20 17 - 149 20
Brazil Brazil 13 18 29 59 23 14 13 370 - - - 0.6 - 370 3 20 463 9
Pakistan Pakistan 0.1 32 30 62 22 1.6 16 28 - - - - - 28 14 - 92 24
Bangladesh Bangladesh 0.6 1.7 31 33 27 - - 1.5 - - - - - 1.5 29 - 35 27
Nigeria Nigeria - 3.1 12 15 28 - - 5.7 - - - - - 5.7 25 - 21 28
Russia Russia 197 16 495 708 4 163 4 167 0.5 - - 0.01 - 167 5 2.5 1,040 4
Japan Japan 288 139 283 711 3 258 3 83 2.8 2.3 - 2.6 - 91 7 22 1,082 3
Mexico Mexico 21 49 131 202 13 9.8 14 39 7.1 0.01 - 0.3 - 47 12 0.8 259 14
Philippines Philippines 16 4.9 20 40 26 - - 9.8 11 0.001 - 0.1 - 21 16 - 61 26
Vietnam Vietnam 15 1.6 30 47 25 - - 26 - - - - - 26 15 - 73 25
Ethiopia Ethiopia - 0.5 - 0.5 29 - - 3.3 0.01 - - - - 3.3 28 - 3.8 30
Egypt Egypt - 26 90 115 20 - - 15 - - - 0.9 - 16 20 - 131 22
Germany Germany 291 9.2 88 388 6 148 6 27 0.02 4.4 - 41 - 72 9 29 637 7
Turkey Turkey 58 7.5 99 164 16 - - 33 0.16 - - 0.85 - 34 13 0.22 198 19
Democratic Republic of the Congo DR Congo - 0.02 0.03 0.05 30 - - 7.5 - - - - - 7.5 22 - 7.5 29
Iran Iran 0.4 36 173 209 11 - - 5.0 - - - 0.20 - 5.2 26 - 215 17
Thailand Thailand 32 1.7 102 135 18 - - 7.1 0.002 0.003 - - - 7.1 23 4.8 147 21
France France 27 5.8 22 55 24 439 2 68 - 0.04 - 5.7 0.51 75 8 5.9 575 8
United Kingdom UK 127 6.1 177 310 7 52 10 9.3 - 0.02 - 7.1 - 16 18 11 389 11
Italy Italy 49 31 173 253 9 - - 47 5.5 0.2 - 4.9 - 58 11 8.6 319 12
South Korea South Korea 192 15 81 288 8 151 5 5.6 - 0.3 - 0.4 - 6.3 24 0.7 446 10
Spain Spain 50 18 122 190 14 59 9 26 - 2.6 0.02 32 - 61 10 4.3 314 13
Canada Canada 112 9.8 41 162 17 94 7 383 - 0.03 - 3.8 0.03 386 2 8.5 651 6
Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia - 116 88 204 12 - - - - - - - - - - - 204 18
Taiwan Taiwan 125 14 46 186 15 41 11 7.8 - 0.004 - 0.6 - 8.4 21 3.5 238 16
Australia Australia 198 2.8 39 239 10 - - 12 - 0.2 0.004 3.9 - 16 19 2.2 257 15
Netherlands Netherlands 27 2.1 63 92 21 4.2 15 0.1 - 0.04 - 4.3 - 4.4 27 6.8 108 23
Country Coal Oil Gas sub
rank Nuclear rank Hydro Geo
Wind Tide sub
rank Bio
Total rank

Solar PV* is Photovoltaics Bio other* = 198TWh (Biomass) + 69TWh (Waste) + 4TWh (other)

Environmental concerns

Variations between countries generating electrical power affect concerns about the environment. In France only 10% of electricity is generated from fossil fuels, the US is higher at 70% and China is at 80%.[12] The cleanliness of electricity depends on its source. Most scientists agree that emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases from fossil fuel-based electricity generation account for a significant portion of world greenhouse gas emissions; in the United States, electricity generation accounts for nearly 40% of emissions, the largest of any source. Transportation emissions are close behind, contributing about one-third of U.S. production of carbon dioxide.[14] In the United States, fossil fuel combustion for electric power generation is responsible for 65% of all emissions of sulfur dioxide, the main component of acid rain.[15] Electricity generation is the fourth highest combined source of NOx, carbon monoxide, and particulate matter in the US.[16] In July 2011, the UK parliament tabled a motion that "levels of (carbon) emissions from nuclear power were approximately three times lower per kilowatt hour than those of solar, four times lower than clean coal and 36 times lower than conventional coal".[17]

Lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions by electricity source.[18]
Technology Description 50th percentile
(g CO2/kWhe)
Hydroelectric reservoir 4
Wind onshore 12
Nuclear various generation II reactor types 16
Biomass various 18
Solar thermal parabolic trough 22
Geothermal hot dry rock 45
Solar PV Polycrystalline silicon 46
Natural gas various combined cycle turbines without scrubbing 469
Coal various generator types without scrubbing 1001

See also


  1. ^ "Pearl Street Station - Engineering and Technology History Wiki". ethw.org. Retrieved 2016-08-14.
  2. ^ "Key World Energy Statistics (2018)" (PDF). International Energy Agency. 2018. p. 14.
  3. ^ "EIA - Electricity Data". www.eia.gov. Retrieved 2016-08-14.
  4. ^ DGEMP / Observatoire de l'énergie (April 2007). "L'Electricité en France en 2006 : une analyse statistique" (PDF) (in French). Retrieved 2007-05-23.
  5. ^ World's Largest Utility Battery System Installed in Alaska (press release, 2003-09-24), U.S. Department of Energy. "13,670 nickel-cadmium battery cells to generate up to 40 megawatts of power for about 7 minutes, or 27 megawatts of power for 15 minutes."
  6. ^ New World Record Achieved in Solar Cell Technology (press release, 2006-12-05), U.S. Department of Energy.
  7. ^ Smith, Karl (22 March 2013). "Will Natural Gas Stay Cheap Enough To Replace Coal And Lower Us Carbon Emissions". Forbes. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
  8. ^ "Coal & electricity". World Coal Association. Retrieved 2016-08-14.
  9. ^ http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/5075247/?reload=true&arnumber=5075247&queryText%3D2000%20mw%20generator&tp=
  10. ^ International Energy Agency, "Electricity Statistics", Retrieved 8 December 2018.
  11. ^ International Energy Agency, "2008 Energy Balance for World", 2011.
  12. ^ a b IEA Statistics and Balances retrieved 2011-5-8
  13. ^ CIA World Factbook 2009 retrieved 2011-5-8
  14. ^ Borenstein, Seth (2007-06-03). "Carbon-emissions culprit? Coal". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on 2011-04-24.
  15. ^ "Sulfur Dioxide". US Environmental Protection Agency.
  16. ^ "AirData". US Environmental Protection Agency.
  17. ^ "Early day motion 2061". UK Parliament. Retrieved 15 May 2015.
  18. ^ http://srren.ipcc-wg3.de/report/IPCC_SRREN_Annex_II.pdf see page 10 Moomaw, W., P. Burgherr, G. Heath, M. Lenzen, J. Nyboer, A. Verbruggen, 2011: Annex II: Methodology. In IPCC Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation.
Distributed generation

Distributed generation, also distributed energy, on-site generation (OSG) or district/decentralized energy is electrical generation and storage performed by a variety of small, grid-connected or distribution system connected devices referred to as distributed energy resources (DER).Conventional power stations, such as coal-fired, gas, and nuclear powered plants, as well as hydroelectric dams and large-scale solar power stations, are centralized and often require electric energy to be transmitted over long distances. By contrast, DER systems are decentralized, modular, and more flexible technologies, that are located close to the load they serve, albeit having capacities of only 10 megawatts (MW) or less. These systems can comprise multiple generation and storage components; in this instance they are referred to as hybrid power systems.

DER systems typically use renewable energy sources, including small hydro, biomass, biogas, solar power, wind power, and geothermal power, and increasingly play an important role for the electric power distribution system. A grid-connected device for electricity storage can also be classified as a DER system and is often called a distributed energy storage system (DESS). By means of an interface, DER systems can be managed and coordinated within a smart grid. Distributed generation and storage enables collection of energy from many sources and may lower environmental impacts and improve security of supply.

Microgrids are modern, localized, small-scale grids, contrary to the traditional, centralized electricity grid (macrogrid). Microgrids can disconnect from the centralized grid and operate autonomously, strengthen grid resilience, and help mitigate grid disturbances. They are typically low-voltage AC grids, often use diesel generators, and are installed by the community they serve. Microgrids increasingly employ a mixture of different distributed energy resources, such as solar hybrid power systems, which reduce the amount of emitted carbon significantly.

Electric energy consumption

Electric energy consumption is the form of energy consumption that uses electric energy. Electric energy consumption is the actual energy demand made on existing electricity supply.

The total electricity consumption in 2012 was 20,900 TWh.

Electrical energy

Electrical energy is energy derived from electric potential energy or kinetic energy. When used loosely, "electrical energy" refers to energy that has been converted from electric potential energy. This energy is supplied by the combination of electric current and electric potential that is delivered by an electrical circuit (e.g., provided by an electric power utility). At the point that this electric potential energy has been converted to another type of energy, it ceases to be electric potential energy.

Thus, all electrical energy is potential energy before it is delivered to the end-use. Once converted from potential energy, electrical energy can always be called another type of energy (heat, light, motion, etc.).

Electricity Generation Company (Turkey)

The Electricity Generation Company (Turkish: Elektrik Üretim A.Ş.; EÜAŞ) is the largest electric power company in Turkey. Owned by the government it produces and trades electricity throughout the country.

Electricity sector in India

The utility electricity sector in India has one National Grid with an installed capacity of 350.162 GW as on 28 February 2019. Renewable power plants constituted 33.60% of total installed capacity. During the fiscal year 2017-18, the gross electricity generated by utilities in India was 1,303.49 TWh and the total electricity generation (utilities and non utilities) in the country was 1,486.5 TWh. The gross electricity consumption was 1,149 kWh per capita in the year 2017-18. India is the world's third largest producer and third largest consumer of electricity. Electric energy consumption in agriculture was recorded highest (17.89%) in 2015-16 among all countries. The per capita electricity consumption is low compared to many countries despite cheaper electricity tariff in India.India has surplus power generation capacity but lacks adequate infrastructure for supplying electricity to all needy people. In order to address the lack of adequate electricity supply to all the people in the country by March 2019, the GoI launched a scheme called "Power for All". This scheme will ensure continuous and uninterrupted electricity supply to all households, industries and commercial establishments by creating and improving necessary infrastructure. It is a joint collaboration of the GoI with states to share funding and create overall economic growth.India's electricity sector is dominated by fossil fuels, and in particular coal, which in 2017-18 produced about three fourths of all electricity. However, the government is pushing for an increased investment in renewable energy. The National Electricity Plan of 2018 prepared by the Government of India states that the country does not need additional non-renewable power plants in the utility sector until 2027, with the commissioning of 50,025 MW coal-based power plants under construction and achieving 275,000 MW total installed renewable power capacity after retirement of nearly 48,000 MW old coal fired plants.

Electricity sector in Pakistan

Electricity in Pakistan (Urdu: بجلی‎) is generated, transmitted, distributed, and retail supplied by two vertically integrated public sector utilities: Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) for all of Pakistan (except Karachi), and the Karachi Electric (K-Electric) for the city of Karachi and its surrounding areas. There are around 42 independent power producers (IPPs) that contribute significantly in electricity generation in Pakistan.

Energy in Spain

Primary energy consumption in Spain in 2015 was mainly composed of fossil fuels.

The largest sources are oil (42.3%), natural gas (19.8%) and coal (11.6%).

The remaining 26.3% is accounted for nuclear energy (12%) and different renewable energy sources (14.3%).

Domestic production of primary energy includes nuclear (44,8%), solar, wind and geothermal (22,4%), biomass and waste (21,1%), hydropower (7,2%) and fossil (4,5%).

According to The World Factbook, in 2011 Spain produced 276.8 TWh of electricity. In the same year, Spain consumed only 249.7 TWh of electricity.

In the early 2000s, huge investment has been made into Spain's renewable energy industry.

Spain aims to be carbon-free before 2050. According to Red Electrica de España (REE), the Spanish peninsula got 69 percent of its electricity generation in March 2015 from technologies that produce zero carbon emissions (renewable energy and nuclear power).

Nuclear as a whole provided 23.8 percent of the country’s electricity in March, while 47 percent came solely from renewable sources.

Most of the renewable electricity being generated in Spain comes from wind, which alone provided 22.5 percent of the country’s electricity in April 2015. Wind often competes with nuclear for the title of Spain’s top electricity generation source overall — in fact, though nuclear pulled through in March 2015 as the top source of electricity, wind has overall provided more electricity to Spain in the entirety of 2015. From January to March 2015, according to REE, wind provided 23.7 percent of electricity generation while nuclear made up 22.7 percent.The energy sector accounts for approximately 2.5% of Spain GDP.

One of the factors which has limited the economic development of Spain throughout history has been the relative scarcity of energy resources.

While Spain does have its own hydrocarbon (liquid and gas) resources, their quantity is far too low to meet demand. In addition, there has been a low quality in the available coal. The energy dependency rate stood at 81,4% in 2005 and 73,3% in 2015.

This deficit rate is higher than in the EU(28): 2005 (52,1%) and 2015(54%).

Energy in the United Kingdom

Energy use in the United Kingdom stood at 2,249 TWh (193.4 million tonnes of oil equivalent) in 2014. This equates to energy consumption per capita of 34.82 MWh (3.00 tonnes of oil equivalent) compared to a 2010 world average of 21.54 MWh (1.85 tonnes of oil equivalent). Demand for electricity in 2014 was 34.42GW on average (301.7TWh over the year) coming from a total electricity generation of 335.0TWh.Successive UK governments have outlined numerous commitments to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. One such announcement was the Low Carbon Transition Plan launched by the Brown ministry in July 2009, which aimed to generate 30% electricity from renewable sources, and 40% from low carbon content fuels by 2020. Notably, the UK is one of the best sites in Europe for wind energy, and wind power production is its fastest growing supply. Wind power contributed 15% of UK electricity generation in 2017.Government commitments to reduce emissions are occurring against a backdrop of economic crisis across Europe. During the European financial crisis, Europe's consumption of electricity shrank by 5%, with primary production also facing a noticeable decline. Britain's trade deficit was reduced by 8% due to substantial cuts in energy imports. Between 2007 and 2015, the UK's peak electrical demand fell from 61.5 GW to 52.7.GW.UK government energy policy aims to play a key role in limiting greenhouse gas emissions, whilst meeting energy demand. Shifting availabilities of resources and development of technologies also change the country's energy mix through changes in costs. In 2016, the United Kingdom was ranked 12th in the World on the Environmental Performance Index, which measures how well a country carries through environmental policy.

Energy policy of India

The energy policy of India is largely defined by the country's expanding energy deficit and increased focus on developing alternative sources of energy, particularly nuclear, solar and wind energy. India ranks 81 position in overall energy self-sufficiency at 66% in 2014.The primary energy consumption in India is the third biggest after China and USA with 5.6% global share in 2017. The total primary energy consumption from crude oil (221.1 Mtoe; 29.34%), natural gas (46.6 Mtoe; 6.18%), coal (424 Mtoe; 56.26%), nuclear energy (8.7 Mtoe; 1.15%), hydro electricity (30.7 Mtoe; 4.07%) and renewable power (21.8 Mtoe; 2.89%) is 753.7 Mtoe (excluding traditional biomass use) in the calendar year 2017. In 2017, India's net imports are nearly 198.8 million tons of crude oil and its products, 25.7 Mtoe of LNG and 129.8 Mtoe coal totaling to 354.3 Mtoe of primary energy which is equal to 47% of total primary energy consumption. About 75% of India's electricity generation is from fossil fuels. India is surplus in electricity generation and also marginal exporter of electricity in 2017. India is largely dependent on fossil fuel imports to meet its energy demands – by 2030, India's dependence on energy imports is expected to exceed 53% of the country's total energy consumption. In 2009-10, the country imported 159.26 million tonnes of crude oil which amounts to 80% of its domestic crude oil consumption and 31% of the country's total imports were oil imports. By the end of calendar year 2015, India has become a power surplus country with huge power generation capacity idling for want of electricity demand. India ranks second after China in renewables production with 208.7 Mtoe in 2016.In 2015-16, the per-capita energy consumption is 22.042 Giga Joules (0.527 Mtoe ) excluding traditional biomass use and the energy intensity of the Indian economy is 0.271 Mega Joules per INR (65 kcal/INR). Due to rapid economic expansion, India has one of the world's fastest growing energy markets and is expected to be the second-largest contributor to the increase in global energy demand by 2035, accounting for 18% of the rise in global energy consumption. Given India's growing energy demands and limited domestic oil and gas reserves, the country has ambitious plans to expand its renewable and most worked out nuclear power programme. India has the world's fourth largest wind power market and also plans to add about 100,000 MW of solar power capacity by 2020. India also envisages to increase the contribution of nuclear power to overall electricity generation capacity from 4.2% to 9% within 25 years. The country has five nuclear reactors under construction (third highest in the world) and plans to construct 18 additional nuclear reactors (second highest in the world) by 2025.Indian solar power PV tariff has fallen to ₹2.44 (3.4¢ US) per kWh in May 2017 which is lower than any other type of power generation in India. In the year 2016, the levelized tariff in US dollars for solar PV electricity has fallen below 2.42 cents/kWh. Also the international tariff of solar thermal storage power plants has fallen to US$0.063/kWh, which is cheaper than fossil fuel plants. The cheaper hybrid solar power (mix of solar PV and solar thermal storage power) need not depend on costly and polluting coal/gas fired power generation for ensuring stable grid operation. Solar electricity price is going to become the benchmark price for deciding the other fuel prices (petroleum products, natural gas/biogas/LNG, CNG, LPG, coal, lignite, biomass, etc.) based on their ultimate use and advantages.

Environmental impact of electricity generation

Electric power systems consist of generation plants of different energy sources, transmission networks, and distribution lines. Each of these components can have environmental impacts at multiple stages of their development and use including in their construction, during the generation of electricity, and in their decommissioning and disposal. We can split these impacts into operational impacts (fuel sourcing, global atmospheric and localized pollution) and construction impacts (manufacturing, installation, decommissioning, and disposal). This page looks exclusively at the operational environmental impact of electricity generation. The page is organized by energy source and includes impacts such as water usage, emissions, local pollution, and wildlife displacement.

More detailed information on electricity generation impacts for specific technologies and on other environmental impacts of electric power systems in general can be found under the Category:Environmental impact of the energy industry.

Marine current power

Marine current power is a form of marine energy obtained from harnessing of the kinetic energy of marine currents, such as the Gulf stream. Although not widely used at present, marine current power has an important potential for future electricity generation. Marine currents are more predictable than wind and solar power.A 2006 report from United States Department of the Interior estimates that capturing just 1/1,000th of the available energy from the Gulf Stream would supply Florida with 35% of its electrical needs.Strong ocean currents are generated from a combination of temperature, wind, salinity, bathymetry, and the rotation of the earth. The sun acts as the primary driving force, causing winds and temperature differences. Because there are only small fluctuations in current speed and stream location with minimal changes in direction, ocean currents may be suitable locations for deploying energy extraction devices such as turbines. Other effects such as regional differences in temperature and salinity and the Coriolis effect due to the rotation of the earth are also major influences. The kinetic energy of marine currents can be converted in much the same way that a wind turbine extracts energy from the wind, using various types of open-flow rotors.The potential of electric power generation from marine tidal currents is enormous. There are several factors that make electricity generation from marine currents very appealing when compared to other renewables:

The high load factors resulting from the fluid properties. The predictability of the resource, so that, unlike most of other renewables, the future availability of energy can be known and planned for.

The potentially large resource that can be exploited with little environmental impact, thereby offering one of the least damaging methods for large-scale electricity generation.

The feasibility of marine-current power installations to provide also base grid power, especially if two or more separate arrays with offset peak-flow periods are interconnected.


Microgeneration is the small-scale generation of heat and electric power by individuals, small businesses and communities to meet their own needs, as alternatives or supplements to traditional centralized grid-connected power. Although this may be motivated by practical considerations, such as unreliable grid power or long distance from the electrical grid, the term is mainly used currently for environmentally conscious approaches that aspire to zero or low-carbon footprints or cost reduction. It differs from micropower in that it is principally concerned with fixed power plants rather than for use with mobile devices.

Renewable energy in Chile

Renewable energy in Chile is classified as Conventional and Non Conventional Renewable Energy (NCRE), and includes biomass, hydro-power, geothermal, wind and solar among other energy sources. Most of the time, when referring to Renewable Energy in Chile, it will be the Non Conventional kind.

Chile has considerable geothermal, solar and wind energy resources while fossil fuel resources are limited. In 2016 Non Conventional Renewable Energy provided 7,794 GWh, or 11.4% of the country's total electricity generation. NCRE accounted for 17.2% of the installed electricity generation capacity by the end of 2016.

Renewable energy in Vietnam

Renewable energy in Vietnam is dominated by hydroelectricity, which supplied over 38% of the country's electricity in 2016.

Other renewable sources such as wind, biomass, and solar are marginal, accounting for 0.4% of electricity generation.The government is planning to increase investment in renewable energy for energy security and economic sustainability.

Targets for 2030 include an increase in wind power capacity to 6 GW and solar power to 12 GW, from current negligible levels. In 2030, wind and solar power are planned to account for 2.1% and 3.3% of total electricity generation, respectively.

Sabari River

Sabari River is one of the main tributaries of Godavari. It originates from the western slopes of Eastern Ghats in Odisha state from Sinkaram hill ranges at 1370 m MSL. It is also known as Kolab river in Odisha.The Sabari river basin receives nearly 1250 mm annual average rainfall. It forms common boundary between Chhattisgarh and Odisha states and later enters into Andhra Pradesh to merge with River Godavari. Upper Kolab project, located in Odisha across the Sabari is a major dam project supplying water for irrigation and Hydro power generation.

The 200 km long stretch of the river forming boundary between Chhattisgarh and Odisha drops by 2.25 meters per km length on average. This stretch of the river has substantial hydro electricity generation potential by building medium head (< 20 m) barrages in series to minimize land submergence. The surplus water of Indravati River in Odisha can also be diverted to Sabari river via Jaura Nallah through which Indravati flood waters naturally overflow into Sabari basin.

Sileru River (known as Machkund in its upper reaches) is the major tributary of Sabari which joins Sabari river at tri-junction boundary point of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Odisha. Sileru river has huge potential of hydro electricity generation which has been substantially harnessed by constructing Machkund, Balimela, upper Sileru, Donkarayi and lower Sileru hydro power projects.

Solar power in Pakistan

Pakistan has some of the highest values of insolation in the world, with eight to nine hours of sunshine per day, ideal climatic conditions for solar power generation.

However, the country has been slow to adopt the technology.

The country has solar plants in Pakistani Kashmir, Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan.

Initiatives are under development by the International Renewable Energy Agency, the Japan International Cooperation Agency, Chinese companies, and Pakistani private sector energy companies.

The country aims to build the world's largest solar power park, the Quaid-e-Azam Solar Power Park (QASP) in the Cholistan Desert, Punjab, by 2017 with a 1 GW capacity.

A plant of this size would be enough to power around 320,000 homes.

Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited

The Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited (UEGCL) is a parastatal company whose primary purpose is to generate electric power for use in Uganda and for sale to neighboring countries. As of December 2017, UEGL's generation capacity was 380 megawatts, with that capacity planned to increase to over 1,300 megawatts, by 2023.

Wind power by country

As of the end of 2016, the worldwide total cumulative installed electricity generation capacity from wind power amounted to 486,790 MW, an increase of 12.5% compared to the previous year.

Installations increased by 54,642 MW, 63,330 MW, 51,675 MW and 36,023 MW in 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013 respectively.

Since 2010 more than half of all new wind power was added outside the traditional markets of Europe and North America, mainly driven by the continuing boom in China and India. At the end of 2015, China had 145 GW of wind power installed. In 2015, China installed close to half the world's added wind power capacity.

Several countries have achieved relatively high levels of wind power penetration, such as 39% of stationary electricity production in Denmark,

18% in Portugal, 16% in Spain, 14% in Ireland and 9% in Germany in 2010.

As of 2011, 83 countries around the world are using wind power on a commercial basis.

In November 2018 Scotland crossed the threshold of windpower supplying 100% of the country's electricity needs.

Wind power's share of worldwide electricity usage at the end of 2014 was 3.1%.

Wind power in Minnesota

At the end of 2016, the installed capacity for wind power in Minnesota was 3,500 megawatts (MW). Wind power generated nearly 18 percent of Minnesota’s electricity in 2016, ranking sixth in the nation

for wind energy as a share of total electricity generation.Large wind farms in Minnesota include the Buffalo Ridge Wind Farm (225 MW), the Fenton Wind Farm (205.5 MW), the Nobles Wind Farm (201 MW), the Odell Wind Farm (200 MW) and the Bent Tree Wind Farm (201 MW).

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