This paper starts from the observation that there is a renewed interest in small-scale electricity generation. The authors start with a survey of existing small-scale generation technologies and then move on with a discussion of the major benefits and issues of small-scale electricity generation. Different technologies are evaluated in terms of their possible contribution to the listed benefits and issues. Small-scale generation is also commonly called distributed generation, embedded generation or decentralised generation. In a final section, an attempt is made to define the latter concepts more precisely. It appears that there is no consensus on a precise definition as the concept encompasses many technologies and applications. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.