How Can You Create Electricity?

Electricity is everywhere, powering every device and appliance, but how it’s generated and distributed can often seem like magic. Centuries of scientific discovery have led to a fantastic feat of electrical production that makes everyday life easier. 

If you’re looking to become more energy-conscious, it’s essential to understand the different methods used to generate electricity that powers homes, businesses, and industries. Keep reading to learn what electricity is and how it’s made, explore different sources used to generate electricity, and understand how it’s distributed from generation sites to your home. 

What Is Electricity, and How Is It Made?

Electricity is the movement of electric charge through a material, which can be a conductor like copper wire or a semiconductor like silicon. The flow of electric charge is generally led by the movement of electrons in a closed circuit. 

Primary energy sources, such as solar, hydro, nuclear, wind, and coal, convert chemical or mechanical energy into secondary sources, such as electricity. They are either renewable or nonrenewable. Renewable energy is inexhaustive, cleaner, and long-lasting. In comparison, nonrenewable energy is less environmentally friendly. Both options have pros and cons

In the 19th century, Michael Farraday created the electric motor, which is still used today. It converts mechanical energy from a turbine into electrical energy. The turbine causes magnets to rotate around a wire, creating an electromagnetic field that generates a direct current. 

How Can We Generate Electricity?


Solar energy is based on the photovoltaic effect, where sunlight excites electrons in a semiconductor material. Photovoltaic cells in solar panels, like EcoFlow Rigid Solar Panels, take advantage of this effect by generating electric current from the excited electrons. The electricity can be directly used or stored in a battery.

Solar generators, like EcoFlow DELTA 2 + 220W Solar Panel, combine a solar panel with a battery for easy electrical generation and storage. 


Coal is a type of fossil fuel formed from plant mass that has metamorphosed into a solid carbon-based rock through heat, pressure, and time. It’s combustible, meaning that when it’s burned, carbon dioxide and oxygen are formed, along with other chemicals. Coal power plants burn coal in a boiler, producing steam that drives turbines. 

Mechanical energy from the turbine is transformed into electrical energy in a generator. Such generators create electricity from a magnet moving around coiled wires, making electric current flow within the wires. 


When wind blows a windmill, the blades capture the wind, causing the rotor to spin. Like coal, this mechanical movement is converted into electrical energy with a generator. Unlike coal, wind is a renewable resource. The sun heats the Earth’s atmosphere unevenly, causing a difference in air pressure. 

Hot air rises, and cold air sinks, creating wind. Distributed wind systems are becoming popular as they make wind energy more accessible to individual homes and businesses. 


Nuclear energy is generated from nuclear fission, which occurs when a heavy atom’s nucleus is split in half, generating a lot of heat. The heat is used to create steam, which powers turbines. Like coal energy, a generator converts the turbine’s movement into electrical energy. 

According to the EIA, nuclear power plants have generated about 20% of U.S. electricity since 1990, and as of 2023, there were 54 nuclear power plants across 28 states.  


Hydroelectric power is another type of renewable energy. Natural water flow from a river, stream, or waterfall turns turbines connected to wind and coal generators that generate electricity. Artificial dams are utilized for large electrical generation. Dams create a difference in water elevation to force water movement over turbines. 

How Is Most of the Electricity We Use Generated?

Electricity used today is generated from many different sources, and the percentage breakdown of each type differs between countries and regions. Historically, fossil fuels like coal, natural gas, and oil have been the most prevalent

However, renewable energy sources are becoming more prevalent as technology advances and environmental concerns rise. Among these are solar generators. Technological improvements and decreased costs make solar energy more accessible. 

Today, EcoFlow DELTA Series Solar Generators can provide whole-home backup, reducing dependence on fossil fuels. The EcoFlow DELTA Max Solar Generator has a 2016Wh battery capacity and provides 2400W of AC output, powering all essential appliances. 

How Is It Distributed?

Once electricity is generated, high-voltage powerlines distribute it from the site to power stations. The voltage is lowered to a more useful voltage at the power station or substation. Once reduced to a useful voltage, power stations distribute electricity to homes and businesses, where it is spent.  

Integrated solar systems can be either on-grid or off-grid. On-grid means the solar panel is connected to the electrical grid, and electrical energy produced from solar supplements grid energy. Off-grid solar systems are self-sufficient and not connected to the electrical grid. 

Everything is powered by solar energy. The EcoFlow 400W Rigid Solar Panel, made with monocrystalline photovoltaic cells with a 23% conversion rate, is perfect for off-grid solar generation. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How Did We Create Electricity?

Electricity generation was discovered in the 19th century when electromagnetic induction was first understood. Electrical current can be generated from the movement of a magnetic field, which causes electrical charges to move. This concept is the basis for generators that convert mechanical energy into electrical energy, like moving turbines connected to a generator. 

Final Thoughts

With the advancement of technology, there are many ways to generate electricity, although some methods, like coal, water, and wind, have been around for many centuries. Renewable energy sources such as water, wind, solar, and nuclear have become more abundant as scientists have improved conversion rates and energy storage materials. 

Once these sources generate electricity, power lines move it from the site to local power plants to distribute to customers. 

Suppose you’re looking to reduce your reliance on the traditional electrical grid and utilize clean, renewable solar energy. In that case, EcoFlow Solar Generators are perfect for powering devices and appliances at any level desired. From small appliances on the go to providing a whole home back, you’ll always have dependable electrical power.

EcoFlow is a portable power and renewable energy solutions company. Since its founding in 2017, EcoFlow has provided peace-of-mind power to customers in over 85 markets through its DELTA and RIVER product lines of portable power stations and eco-friendly accessories.


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