Electricity is everywhere without it we’ll still be living in the dark ages in primitive homes lit by candles and heated by log fires.
Thanks to electricity everyone in the western world is richer than the richest man alive a couple of hundred years ago.
Although we use artificial means to generate electricity, it is actually a natural phenomenon found in lightning-caused by thunderstorms, in electrical fish (the electric eel for example) and even inside our bodies (as impulses pass between nerve cells).
Electricity is the presence and flow of an electrical charge which we humans have harnessed to advance our lives and the progress of humanity.
How Electricity’s Created
Electricity is produced in power stations using spinning turbines made of large magnets and wire coils that move electrons, creating electricity in the process.
These turbines require a lot of energy to get them moving, so the use of fossil fuels, nuclear energy, renewable energy is required to power the turbines that produce our electricity.
Most of the electricity in the UK is produced using natural gas nearly half in fact.
Coal is also an effective fuel for producing electricity, but as the years have gone by were using less and less due to the environmental impact.
Around a fifth of our power is produced by nuclear reactors which split uranium atoms producing heat to power the turbines.
Renewable energy now generates around 30% of our electricity (you’ll likely have noticed the many wind turbines that have sprung up around our coastlines).
Other examples are wave power and solar panels. The use of renewable energy causes some controversy as there’s evidence suggesting renewable energy production is nowhere near as efficient as fossil fuel or nuclear production.
Some say what’s the point as other countries like China are not following suit and actually increasing their fossil fuel power plants and the impact on the environment with it.
At the time of writing, there are A total of 45Power stations in the UK which include five coal-fired power plants and 15 nuclear power plants.
How Electricity’s Delivered
Once electricity’s produced, it’s sent from the power plant to substations around the towns and cities in the UK through overhead cables (kept out of harm’s way by pylons).
On its way through the cables, the voltage’s reduced before reaching a local transformer where the voltage is reduced further making it safe to use in the domestic home.
From the local transformer, electricity is carried by cable usually underground to each home in the street before reaching your consumer unit that powers your electrical system.