power towers and power lines

Reading time: 10 min

Electricity is a type of energy that consists of the movement of electrons between two points when there is a potential difference between them, making it possible to generate what is known as an electric current.   

Let’s see a practical example to understand it better. What happens when we turn on the light switch? The electrical circuit is closed, connecting the first point to the second. The electrons start to move through the metallic copper wire (the conductive element), and we immediately have light. The circulation of electrons through the conductor wire is transformed into electric light.

As we will see below, electricity is practically essential in our day-to-day lives thanks to its amazing versatility and high level of convenience: 

How is electricity generated?

What is the origin of the electricity we use in our daily lives? While it is true that electricity is present in nature, for example, as lightning and thunderstorms, the reality is that this type of energy is difficult to store. As a result, we need power plants that are constantly producing the electricity we use.

renewable electricity generation

Depending on the type of energy sources used to produce electricity, we can classify electricity generation into two major groups:

Renewable electricity generation

Renewable energy comes from a natural source such as wind power, water power, or the heat of the sun. They are therefore inexhaustible sources of energy and are more environmentally friendly. Some examples of renewable sources are:

  • Wind energy: Wind farms, utilizing wind turbines, use air currents to transform the kinetic energy of the wind into electricity. It's an inexhaustible source but somewhat unstable as it is subject to atmospheric conditions. 
  • Photovoltaic solar energy: It's obtained when sunlight hits solar panels, producing electrons which, when they move, create a flow of electricity. At present, solar panels are intelligent and can change their own orientation and inclination, following the sun’s trajectory at all times for greater efficiency. Although more stable than wind power, it is also subject to environmental conditions. 
  • Hydropower: This energy is a traditional and sustainable practice, which is why it continues to be one of the most demanded renewable sources. However, it requires more infrastructure than the previous cases since it involves the construction of dams or dykes. By using a system of hydraulic turbines, the force of moving water is harnessed to produce electricity.

Non-renewable electricity generation:

By contrast, non-renewable energy sources use limited natural resources to generate electricity. In addition, they are generally not as accessible as they are only found in certain parts of the planet. Depending on how they are extracted, they can be classified into two different groups:

  • Energy from fossil fuels: This energy is generated from burning fossil fuels such as oil, coal, and natural gas. Although the trend is for us to depend less and less on them to advance in decarbonization, the reality is that they still play an important role in the energy mix, particularly when it comes to natural gas due to its lower carbon emissions.  
  • Energy from nuclear fuels: Uranium is the most common nuclear fuel and can be found in nature in three different isotopes. The nuclear fission process is the most widely used and best known for producing nuclear energy. Due to the reactions triggered in this process, an enormous amount of energy can be released. However, it has the disadvantage of producing radioactive nuclear waste after the process. 

Repsol and electricity

a light bulb with a sunset in the background

Strengthening our activity as a multi-energy supplier

With the 2020 strategic update, we are anticipating major trends such as the increase in electricity demand and the key role of natural gas in the energy transition. 

That's why incorporating electricity and gas supply into our commercial offering is a fundamental step in fulfilling our roadmap.