alternative energy and shale gas encyclopedia pdf
The electricity that powers our appliances is not primary energy, but rather a carrier of energy. In a coal-fired power plant, for example, the fire boils water into highpressure, high-temperature steam that turns a turbine that turns an electricity-producing generator. The generator energizes electrons, and our lights and machines in turn become energized by those electrons. The important detail is simply that the electrical power does not come from the socket, but rather from some primary source like coal or natural gas.
Scientists began to understand things pertaining to electricity at about the time of the American Revolution. It was not until 1882 that the first hydropower station produced commercial electrical power. So useful is electricity that, by now, a full 40% of our primary energy in the United States
goes into the production of electricity.