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Electricity must be created from other sources of energy, such as natural gas and coal. The original source is used to power a turbine, which is connected to a generator with an electromagnet. When the electromagnet spins, electricity is produced, and is carried on power lines to consumers. In the United States, most electricity is produced from natural gas and coal. There continues to be progress in using renewable resources, such as wind and hydropower, to make electricity. Consumers receive their electric power by means of complicated power grids. These grids are operated by regulated utilities. Consumers can buy their electricity from the utilities or from unregulated power producers who rely on the utilities to deliver electricity to their customers.

Key Takeaways:

  • The US still gets nearly 65% of electricity from fossil fuels, but use of renewable resources is growing.
  • The US has three independent interconnection systems, which contain local power grids controlled by utilities and power production companies.
  • Regulated utilities and unregulated power producers each have a role to play in bringing electricity to consumers.

“According to the EIA, in 2016 65% of electricity generation in the United States was from fossil fuels (coal, natural gas), 20% was from nuclear, and 15% was from renewable resources.”

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