The process of creating electricity is the same in most cases. A turbine is used to create the energy. A turbine spins like a fan, converting the energy from water, wind or steam into mechanical power. There are a number of ways to make a turbine spin.
Most of the electricity used in Australia is made from power plants that burn fossil fuels to create steam. The main type of fuel used is coal, because it allows large amounts of electricity to be produced in one place.
Once the fossil fuels are out of the ground, they are transported to the power plants. Many of Australia's power plants are located close to coal mines, so the fuel does not have far to travel.
If oil is being used it usually first arrives in big tanker ships and then is transported to the plant along huge pipelines.
In Australia, coal fired power stations are built adjacent to coalfields and the coal is transported by conveyor belt. Gas is transported by pipelines.
Another popular way to make electricity is with hydro power – created from water stored in huge dams. The energy created by the water released from these dams is transformed into electricity by hydro-electric turbines and generators. The most famous source of hydroelectric power is the Snowy Mountains Hydro-Electric Scheme.
To make hydroelectric power, water from rain or melting snow is collected and stored in a dam. The flow of this water can be controlled with the opening and closing of the gates or pipes. A dam wall can also create a high water level, which creates more force when the water drops towards the turbine. A large pipe carries the water from the dam to the turbine. The force of the water pushes against the blades and turns the turbines. The rotating turbine is connected to a generator, which makes the electricity.