Great success has been obtained in the R&D of a chemical oxygen-iodine laser (COIL) operating on the electronic transition of the iodine atom, which gets an excitation from the energy donor -singlet delta oxygen (SDO). The latter is normally produced in a chemical SDO generator using very toxic and dangerous chemicals, which puts a limit for civilian applications of COIL that is still a very unique apparatus. Totally new non-chemical SDO generator is needed to allow oxygen-iodine laser to achieve its full potential as a non-hazardous efficient source of high-power laser radiation. There was interest in producing SDO in electric discharge plasma since the 50's long before COIL appearing. The idea of using SDO as a donor for iodine laser was formulated in the 70's. However, the injection of iodine molecules into a low- pressure self-sustained discharge did not result in iodine lasing. One of the main factors that could prevent from lasing in many experiments is a rather high threshold yield ~15% at 300K, which is needed for obtaining an inversion population. An analysis of different attempts of producing SDO in different kinds of electric discharge plasma has been done which demonstrates that high yield at gas pressure of practical interest (p > 10 Torr) for modern COIL technology can be obtained only in non-self sustained electric discharge plasma. The reason is that the value of relatively low reduced electrical field strength E/N ~10-16 V.cm2, which is an order of magnitude less than that for the self-sustained discharge, is extremely important for the efficient SDO production. Although different kinds of non-self sustained discharges can be used for SDO production, we got started experiments with e-beam sustained discharge in gas mixtures containing oxygen. High specific input energy up to ~3 - 5 kJ/l. atm [O2] has been experimentally obtained. Theoretical calculations have been done for different experimental conditions indicating a feasibility of reasonable SDO yield. Experimental and theoretical research of self-sustained electric discharge in SDO produced in a chemical generator, which is very important for getting plasma-chemical kinetic data needed for an estimation of SDO yield, is also discussed.