A fast and reliable detection scheme is essential in several wireless applications such as radar and cognitive radio systems. Energy detection is such a method as it does not require a priori information of the received signal while it exhibits low implementation complexity and costs. Since the detection capability of ED is largely affected by the effects of multipath fading, this paper is devoted to a thorough analysis of energy detection based spectrum sensing over generalized fading conditions. To this end, analytical expressions are firstly derived using the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) under additive white Gaussian noise. This analysis is subsequently extended to the case of generalized fading conditions characterized by k - μ and η - μ fading distributions. The offered results are novel and are employed in analyzing the corresponding performance. It is shown that fading phenomena result to detrimental effects on the performance of spectrum sensing since the deviation between severe and non-severe conditions is rather substantial.