Electricity generation

Electricity is generated from sources of primary energy such as fossil fuels, water, solar, wind, nuclear, hydro, biofuels or hydrogen

Primary energy sources include


fossil fuel icon

Fossil fuels


Wood and biofuels

Electricity can be generated close to where it is consumed, for example via solar panels on a roof, small wind turbines or micro-hydro installations. In most cases, however, electricity is still generated from large power plants situated at some distance from end-users and is delivered by a conventional transmission and distribution network.

Several IEC Technical Committees prepare international standards which specify how to safely and efficiently convert primary energy into electricity.

They also enable renewable energy sources to be integrated into the electricity grid. The list:

IEC TC 4: Hydraulic turbines

IEC TC 5: Steam turbines

IEC TC 45: Nuclear instrumentation (SC45A: Instrumentation, control and electrical power systems of nuclear facilities) 

IEC TC 82: Solar photovoltaic energy systems

IEC TC 88: Wind energy generation systems

IEC TC 105: Fuel cell technologies

IEC TC 114: Marine energy

IEC TC 117: Solar thermal electric plants

IEC PC 126: Binary power generation systems

More information

IEC is paving the way for these new technologies by developing and publishing a wide number of standards.

Electricity generating capacity is expanding to meet growing worldwide demand.

Renewable energies represent a fast-growing percentage of electricity generation.

Nuclear power plants (NPPs) produce an important proportion of the world's electricity. 

Storing energy is becoming ever more important as our demand for electricity increases.

IEC is forging a path for this global transformation with the required international standards.

Distributed energy resources are a way of increasing energy efficiency and improving grid resilience.

Getting clean and modern electricity to those who need it the most with the help of the IEC.

One of the most important ways of helping us to save energy is by implementing energy efficiency measures.

Renewable energy generates direct current and we use direct current in our homes to power many of our devices, from LED lights to mobile phones.

IEC publications help them to meet the various technical challenges they unavoidably face moving forward.