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GE Reports Trading Neighbors. But in the future, they could be doing business automatically, minute-by-minute, thanks to a technology called blockchain. GE Reports Lightning in a Bottle. Batteries energized the first wave of scientific research into electricity. Now renewable energy has made grid-scale energy storage, like the GE Reservoir, an important part of our energy future. GE Reports Supercharge Me. In the capital of Bangladesh, where power outages happen three times a day, GE Power is playing a prime role in the transformation of its energy future. As the world shifts towards using renewables, the systems that provide power will change.

While decentralized systems will play a large role, hybrid generation methods will ensure the lights stay on. In sub-Saharan Africa, million people lack reliable access to electricity.


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GE Reports Knowledge is Power. Delivering outcomes to the ever-increasing power market requires three things: knowledge, operational systems, and a scalable platform. At GE Power, we promise to deliver all three. See how GE technology is helping this market thrive.

The power it gives us all. Decarbonization Through efficiency gains and a robust energy mix, the global power system can be a force for reducing CO 2 and combatting climate change. Digitalization A new age of end-to-end integration with a single source of truth from edge to center is realizing unprecedented new outcomes for customers and the world. Decentralization Smaller, decentralized power systems are extending access and boosting resiliency in time to meet rising demand in burgeoning cities and remote areas.

Smart devices on transmission and distribution lines and at substations allow a utility to more efficiently manage voltage levels and more easily find out where an outage or other problem is on the system. Smart grids can sometimes remotely correct problems in the electrical distribution system by digitally sending instructions to equipment that can adjust the conditions of the system.

Fred Wendt

The origin of the electricity that consumers purchase varies. Some electric utilities generate all the electricity they sell using just the power plants they own. Other utilities purchase electricity directly from other utilities, power marketers, and independent power producers or from a wholesale market organized by a regional transmission reliability organization.

The retail structure of the electricity industry varies from region to region.

Electric Power Generation, Transmission, And Distribution Global Market Report

The company selling you power may be a not-for-profit municipal electric utility; an electric cooperative owned by its members; a private, for-profit electric utility owned by stockholders often called an investor-owned utility ; or in some states, you may purchase electricity through a power marketer. A few federally owned power authorities—including the Bonneville Power Administration and the Tennessee Valley Authority , among others—also generate, buy, sell, and distribute power.


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  • Local electric utilities operate the distribution system that connects consumers with the grid regardless of the source of the electricity. The electricity that power plants generate is delivered to customers over transmission and distribution power lines. High-voltage transmission lines, such as those that hang between tall metal towers, carry electricity over long distances to where consumers need it.

    Electricity distribution concept

    Higher voltage electricity is more efficient and less expensive for long-distance electricity transmission. Lower voltage electricity is safer for use in homes and businesses. Transformers at substations increase step up or reduce step down voltages to adjust to the different stages of the journey from the power plant on long-distance transmission lines to distribution lines that carry electricity to homes and businesses.

    At the beginning of the 20th century, more than 4, individual electric utilities operated in isolation from each other.

    As the demand for electricity grew, especially after World War II, utilities began to connect their transmission systems. These connections allowed utilities to share the economic benefits of building large and often jointly-owned electric generating units to serve their combined electricity demand at the lowest possible cost. Interconnection also reduced the amount of extra generating capacity that each utility had to hold to ensure reliable service during times of peak demand.

    Over time, three large, interconnected systems evolved in the United States.

    Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution Standard

    Local electricity grids are interconnected to form larger networks for reliability and commercial purposes. At the highest level, the U. The network structure of the interconnections helps maintain the reliability of the grid by providing multiple routes for power to flow and allowing generators to supply electricity to many load centers. This redundancy helps prevent transmission line or power plant failures from causing interruptions in service to retail customers. Click to enlarge. The three interconnections describe the large-scale physical structure of the grid. The regional operation of the electric system is managed by entities called balancing authorities, which ensure that electricity supply constantly matches power demand.

    Most of the balancing authorities are electric utilities that have taken on the balancing responsibilities for a specific part of the power system. All of the regional transmission organizations in the United States also function as balancing authorities. ERCOT is unique in that the balancing authority, interconnection, and the regional transmission organization are all the same entity and physical system.

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    A balancing authority ensures that electricity demand and supply are finely balanced to maintain the safe and reliable operation of the power system. Related Resources. Industrial Production Index. Industrial Production: Electric power generation, transmission, and distribution. More Series from G.

    Electric Transmission and Generation: How the Grid Works

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