The majority of the electrical power used throughout the world is produced by generators containing a rotating magnet usually powered by steam created from burning fossil fules. Renewable sources of energy, however , are becoming more commonly used across the globe. The government has set a target to generate 10% of the UK's electricity needs from renewable sources by the year 2010.
Alternative energy sources include solar panels, wind generators, hydro-electric power and nuclear power. Solar panels convert sunlight directly to electricity but in general have low efficiency. Wind power is used directly to rotate turbines to generate electricity. Hydro-electric power converts the kinetic energy from falling water into electricity and nuclear power uses the energy locked in the nuclei of atoms instead of fossil fuels.