Where does the energy that powers our world come from? According to the First Law of Thermodynamics, energy can neither be created nor destroyed, only converted from one form to another. So when you charge your phone, turn on a light, or refrigerate food, where is that electricity coming from? Let’s start with the basics.
Electricity is a product of energy conversion, typically done using turbine generators. Like blowing on a pinwheel to make it spin, the blades of the turbine rotor are made to spin from the force of water, steam, gas, or wind. This creates mechanical energy (energy from motion), which the generator converts into electrical energy (energy from charged particles).
Other electricity generators include solar photovoltaic (PV) cells, also known as solar panels, and internal combustion engines. Solar PV cells convert sunlight directly into electricity without the use of a turbine. Internal combustion engines have many purposes, but they are most commonly known for their use in cars. In these, fuel is mixed with air and the mixture is ignited to create energy for the vehicle to run.
While many forms of electricity generators exist, they all share a common feature: they require an energy source. Energy sources are classified as either renewable or non-renewable. As the name implies, renewable sources are naturally replenished. Solar energy, wind energy, hydropower energy (from moving water), geothermal energy (from heat inside the planet), and biomass energy (from plants) are all examples of renewable energy sources. Non-renewable energy sources have a limited supply because they are extracted from the earth. These include coal, natural gas, and petroleum (often called fossil fuels), as well as nuclear energy, which is produced from the rare element uranium.
Source: Byjus.com, “Sources of Energy”