How is electricity generated using coal and wind?

An electricity generator is basically a magnet spinning inside a stationery coil of copper wire. This produces electricity.

Anything that can spin the magnet will work. So wind blowing on the blades of a windmill will turn it, and this produces electricity.

Using coal, the coal is burnt and turns water into steam. This steam turns the propellor, which rotates the magnet, and electricity is produced.

There are big differences between the two ways of generation.

  • Coal is non renewable, dirty and costly. We have to dig it out of the ground, and mining and then burning it produces a lot of pollution, not least of which is carbon dioxide, which is causing global warming.
  • Wind, on the other hand, is renewable, clean and free!