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Electrical Energy

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Electrical energy is the energy carried by moving electrons in an electric conductor.  It cannot be seen, but it is one of our most useful forms of energy because it is relatively easy to transmit and use.

All matter consists of atoms, and every atom contains one or more electrons, which are always moving.  When electrons are forced along a path in a conducting substance such as a wire, the result is energy called electricity.

Electrical generating plants do not create energy.  They change other forms of energy into electricity.  For example, power plants can convert chemical energy stored in fuels into thermal energy, which evaporates water into steam, which produces mechanical energy as it moves through turbines.  The turbines spin generators, which produce electricity.

Photograph of an electrical storm with a bolt of lightning