Fossil fuels remain the greatest contributor to electricity generation worldwide. In 2019, coal - including peat and oil shales - accounted for roughly 37 percent of the global power mix, while natural gas followed with a 24-percent share. Fossil fuel use notwithstanding, the share of renewables in global electricity has seen a more pronounced year-on-year growth in recent years, following increased efforts by governments to combat global warming and a decrease in levelized costs. By 2040, projections show renewables to have surpassed fossil fuels as the main power source.
How is electricity generated?
An electricity generator converts a form of energy into electricity through mechanical energy. One of the most common generators uses an electromagnet, which produces several small currents as it rotates. These smaller currents combine to form a larger current that becomes the electricity for consumers to use. Commonly, electricity generation is elicited through power plants that use a turbine or other machinery to drive the generators. Different energy sources require different methods to harness their energy. Fossil fuels like coal and natural gas are burned, nuclear power relies on nuclear fission, and geothermal power plants utilize heat in areas near tectonic plate boundaries - all constitute thermal energy, which is fed through a steam turbine generating electricity.
Other types of turbines are hydroelectric turbines and wind turbines. Energy sources, such as solar photovoltaic cells, do not depend on turbines and can convert sunlight directly into electricity through collectors.
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Statista. (December 9, 2021). Distribution of electricity generation worldwide in 2019, by energy source [Graph]. In Statista. Retrieved May 28, 2022, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/269811/world-electricity-production-by-energy-source/
Statista. "Distribution of electricity generation worldwide in 2019, by energy source." Chart. December 9, 2021. Statista. Accessed May 28, 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/269811/world-electricity-production-by-energy-source/
Statista. (2021). Distribution of electricity generation worldwide in 2019, by energy source. Statista. Statista Inc.. Accessed: May 28, 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/269811/world-electricity-production-by-energy-source/
Statista. "Distribution of Electricity Generation Worldwide in 2019, by Energy Source." Statista, Statista Inc., 9 Dec 2021, https://www.statista.com/statistics/269811/world-electricity-production-by-energy-source/
Statista, Distribution of electricity generation worldwide in 2019, by energy source Statista, https://www.statista.com/statistics/269811/world-electricity-production-by-energy-source/ (last visited May 28, 2022)