What is the difference between energy and electricity?

In the energy industry, the terms "energy" and "electrical energy" are often used. They are sometimes used interchangeably, which can raise questions about whether they actually mean the same thing. That is why we want to understand the questions: what is electrical energy? What is energy? And what's the difference?

What is energy?
When we talk about energy, we are talking about the ability of something to do work. That's exactly how it is. Energy is the ability to do something. However, it comes in many different forms and not all energy is created equal. Thermal, mechanical, chemical, light and electrical are just a few of the forms that energy can take. All these categories can be combined into two groups.

Potential energy is energy that is stored and waiting to be used. It is energy that has the potential to do work but is not currently being realized.

Kinetic energy is energy that actively does work. Kinetic energy is created when potential energy is activated and affects the world around it.

A good example is wood. Although we don't always perceive it this way, wood contains potential energy in the form of chemical energy. However, until we activate this energy, it is just wood. By lighting it, we convert chemical energy into thermal energy and use it for heating, cooking or creating flame effects on a fire.

What is electrical energy?
Although electricity is a form of energy, it is not that simple. Electricity is what we call a secondary energy source. It is created by converting primary energy sources such as fossil fuels, wind or solar energy into electricity. We can also think of it as an energy carrier. It transfers energy from one form to another.

For example, green energy producers use solar panels to convert light energy into electricity. Sunlight hits the solar panels, and photovoltaic cells convert it into electricity. Hydroelectric power plants use the kinetic energy of flowing water and the mechanical energy of rotating turbines to create electricity. Coal-fired power plants use chemical energy that is released when coal is burned. As a result of this process, water is heated, which then turns into steam and drives a turbine that generates electrical energy. Nuclear power plants use nuclear energy, which is released when the nuclei of uranium or plutonium atoms fission. This process takes place in a reactor that maintains a nuclear fission chain reaction. This also releases heat, which is used to heat water and drive a turbine that generates electrical energy.

This electricity is then transmitted through power grids to end consumers for use and conversion into other forms of energy, such as thermal or mechanical energy.

Electricity is less of a direct source of energy for our daily lives, rather it is something that helps transfer energy from one form to another.

Why is it important?
You may be wondering why it is so important to know this difference. Because the energy that we ultimately use in everyday life or in the course of our work is produced using different technologies and, as a result, has different production costs. We are currently experiencing a multiple increase in energy demand. Governments in many countries around the world are striving to make energy as accessible as possible and at the same time control its cost. There is a constant search and development of new energy sources.

The growing demand for energy in the world and the rapid electrification of our world mean that we need to develop not only a stack of technologies for production and energy transport, but also technologies for rational consumption. The introduction and use of energy efficient technologies is an important contribution to the development of our energy systems.

We, the FESCOM team, share the thesis that “Energy is one of the most important needs of humanity” and see our contribution in the development and implementation of technology for adaptive control of electricity consumption modes, since this technology has significant potential in the development of energy systems.