There are multiple ways to generate electricity. The three methods used in the electric delivery system are the photoelectric effect, the electrochemical effect, and the electromagnetic effect:
- The photoelectric effect creates electricity when sunlight shines on certain semiconductors. These semiconductors are called photovoltaic (PV) cells and the energy created is called photovoltaic solar energy.
- The electrochemical effect creates electricity when specific chemicals react with each other. This is done in both fuel cells and batteries. Fuel cells convert a fuel to electricity through a chemical process, whereas batteries store electricity.
- The electromagnetic effect converts kinetic energy (energy of movement) to electricity by spinning a generator. Generators can be driven by either turbines or reciprocating engines. Various types of turbines are commonly used, and many types of fuel can be used for either turbines or reciprocating engines.