What is Energy?

Energy exists in everything that is. It causes every motion and movement. Energy is either potential or kinetic. Energy exists in all things from the giant sun to microscopic organisms. Energy cannot be created or destroyed but can be transformed.

Potential Energy

Potential energy is held until released. Coal and oil are examples of potential energy. Much of our electricity comes from coal and oil which is burned and is transformed into thermal energy which is a form of kinetic energy which we use to power our homes, factories, and vehicles.

People gain potential energy when they eat. The energy from the food that we eat is stored in the body until we need to use it to do an activity.

Types of potential energy include chemical energy (oil and coal). Mechanical energy is an object which is under tension. If you bend a tree branch it is then storing energy which is released when the branch is released and it swings back into place. Nuclear energy is stored until released in the nucleus of an atom. Gravitational Energy is dependent on how high an object is. An object that is rolling downhill moves faster with less effort than one moving on a flat surface. Electrical energy is what is found in lightening and batteries.

All potential energy must be released in some way in order for it to be usable.

Kinetic Energy

Kinetic energy is ready to go. It is movement and motion and constant. Forms of Kinetic energy include radiant (light), motion (wind), sound (vibration), and thermal (heat). The potential energy forms must be transformed into a form of kinetic energy before it can be released and used.

Non Renewable Energy Sources

Non Renewable Energy Sources are called fossil fuels and do not replenish themselves. These are carbon based sources such as Petroleum and Coal. Petroleum comes from animals and coal comes from plants.

Coal is an example of resource that has a finite supply. Coal is formed by peat bogs which are under intense pressure by a covering of soil and rocks. This process takes an extremely long time to complete and requires a very specific set of geological circumstances to start.

Renewable Energy Sources

Renewable Energy Sources on the other hand are plentiful and always available BUT are not as efficient to utilize. It takes a whole lotta windmills to equal a coal mine or oil well in energy supplied. The technology that we have available makes renewable energy that we can harness somewhat less feasible than the current model of mainly carbon burning based energy. Environmentalism stresses the exploration and use of renewable energy sources.

Whatever shall we do…