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Natural gas can be used to generate electricity in a variety of ways. The most basic natural gas-fired electric generation consists of a steam generation unit, where fossil fuels are burned in a boiler to heat water and produce steam that then turns a turbine to generate electricity. Natural gas may be used for this process, although these basic steam units are more typical of large coal or nuclear generation facilities. These basic steam generation units have fairly low energy efficiency. Typically, only 33 to 35 percent of the thermal energy used to generate the steam is converted into electrical energy in these types of units.

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