The vast majority of electricity generated worldwide (about 99%) is generated from power plants using primary energy resources: hydropower, fossil fuel, and nuclear fuel. The descriptions of the power plants that use primary resources are covered in this chapter, and the methods to generate electricity from secondary resources (solar, wind, geothermal, etc.) are discussed in Chapter 6.
The geological and hydrological characteristics of the area where the power plant is to be erected determine, to a large extent, the type of the power plant. For example, fossil fuel power plants in the United States are concentrated mainly in the east and Midwest regions where coal is abundant. Similarly, hydroelectric power plants are ...