Energy is that thing, or that invisible force, that makes things move, that machines work … it even makes living beings grow! You should also know that, of all the existing energy sources, the Sun is the main one.

Energy exists in many different forms, for example, energy is needed to cook, to go to school, to run, to jump … Animals get all that necessary energy by eating food. For centuries humans had to use wood or whatever they had at hand to create energy to be able to eat hot or heat their houses, but fortunately they were discovering other more efficient and durable forms of energy.


Potential and kinetic energy

Each of the different forms of energy that exist can be described as potential energy or kinetic energy. Potential energy is stored energy. For example, the chemical energy of food is potential energy. When people eat, their bodies transform stored energy into moving energy, such as thermal energy or mechanical energy. We call kinetic energy precisely that energy in motion, so all objects that move have kinetic energy, even atoms.

When energy changes shape it is called “energy transformation”. Energy changes shape every time it is used to do work or function, and these energy transformations occur in all parts of the universe , constantly. For example, nuclear energy from the sun is constantly being transformed into electromagnetic energy.

Do you know the Law of Conservation of Energy ? Well, this law tells us that energy is never created or destroyed, it only changes from one state to another. This is what happens, for example, when we convert the chemical energy of food into kinetic energy when we move. But … how many types of energy are there? We can talk about chemical energy, electrical energy, gravitational energy (related to the field that surrounds our planet Earth), kinetic and potential energy, mechanical energy, solar energy, nuclear energy, sound energy, thermal energy …


Renewable and non-renewable energies

Each type of energy is divided, in turn, into these two categories:

  • Renewable energy. Renewable energy is that which comes from natural sources or processes that are constantly being replenished. Examples of this type of energy are solar energy (which comes from the sun), geothermal energy (which comes from the earth), wind energy (from the wind) or biomass energy (from organic materials).
  • Non-renewable energy. Non-renewable energy is energy that consumes resources that we cannot replace. Some examples of this type of energy are gas (which powers cars) and coal burned in power plants. Once these resources are used, they are gone forever. The types of non-renewable energy are natural gas, coal and oil , which are also quite polluting .

This means that the more renewable energy we use, the more we will take care of and protect our planet!

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