How electricity is generated
To generate electricity, first of all we need a fuel source.
Fuel sources include coal, gas, hydropower, geothermal, wind and solar. Coal and gas use the same principle to generate electricity - they turn a turbine so that it spins magnets surrounded by copper wire to create a flow of electrons across atoms, creating electricity.
You can find out how electricity gets to your home here.
Fuel sources explained
To get the turbines to spin, we need a fuel source. In Australia, most of our electricity supply comes from traditional fuels such as coal and natural gas. We also use renewable energy to generate electricity and here in Australia, it accounts for around 14 per cent of the electricity produced.
Traditional sources: Coal and gas
Coal and gas work in similar ways to produce electricity. Both of these fuel sources are burned to heat water. The water then creates steam which turns the turbine, generating electricity.
Renewable sources: Hydropower and wind
Renewable energy sources such as wind and hydropower work differently. The water from hydropower and the wind generated by wind power are used to turn the turbine and generate electricity.
Renewable source: Solar
Solar photovoltaic panels convert solar radiation into electricity using semi conductors, which generates electrical power. A number of Australians are making the switch to solar power as it can provide a greener, renewable energy source.
If you’re interested in exploring energy options for your home, you can compare Origin’s electricity plans and see an estimated cost for your usage.