Within the process of delivering the electricity to final consumers, there are three stages carried out by the industry of electric power. Those are distinctly the following: electricity generation, electric power transmission and electricity distribution. Although the other stages being also fundamental, there is no doubt that electricity generation is the most important. Besides the fact that a proper electricity generation would result in a more adequate transmission and distribution, it’s also a topic of major concern among environmentalists today.

 Electricity has been used for our civilization for around 120 years, utilizing several sources found in nature. It’s the overuse of such results what worries specialists from around the globe. Common sources for electricity generation today includes mainly coal, hydroelectric and petroleum power, although some sources, even nuclear are also used. General concerns about the environment caused a small part of the industry to search for alternative sources, such as tidal harnesses, wind and geothermal sources and solar energy.

 The most common system of electricity generation for large and widely populated areas consists of turbines which are attached to electrical generators. In plants using coal, the fossil fuel is burned to generate heat, and then produce steam which is used to rotate the turbines. There are also turbines rotated by water, flowing water, such as in hydroelectric dams or more recently tidal harnesses.

 More modern power plants are widely adopting wind power, as wind is an unlimited source of energy. Those wind turbines consist of very large windmills placed in locations where winds are high and constant. This source of electricity generation it’s very economical if compared to other technologies, and has also the lowest environmental impact of all energy sources to date.

 In comparison to wind power, fossil fuel burning is much more expensive for both producers and consumers, besides being primary reason for the greenhouse effect enhancement and global warming.

 Today, cogeneration plants also represent an important alternative for lowering the prices of energy and also contributing for diminishing waste of energy that happens with other electricity generation technologies, by combining heat and power methods. While the steam is used to rotate the turbines and produce power, the waste heat produced is used to for space heating in the plant itself and nearby constructions.