Solar panels

Energy exists all around us. Kids and grownups get energy from food. Once food converts to energy in the body it gives them the strength and resources to go to school or work, and to use their brains and bodies to get things done. Another kind of energy comes from other sources so that people have electricity, can drive cars, trains and automobiles. Energy also gives people light, heat and the ability to make the things that they need. Some scientists, called quantum physicists, explain that everything in the universe is made up of energy.

Energy comes in different forms. The different kinds of energy include heat or thermal energy, light or radiant energy, electrical, chemical and nuclear energy. Some scientists talk about gravitational energy, the potential energy associated with the energy field around the earth. Gravitational energy keeps people on the planet instead of spinning off into space.

Human beings use both nonrenewable and renewable energy from different sources. Nonrenewable energy cannot be replaced; once it is used up there is no more. Nonrenewable energy includes oil, natural gas, coal and uranium. Renewable energy comes from the sun, the wind, water and inside the earth. Some scientists study other means of renewable energy. These include taking energy from plants or plant materials, and taking energy from the waves in the ocean.

Some of the sources of energy used have a bad effect on the environment. When coal, oil and gas make energy, the byproduct creates gases that get released into the environment. This causes pollution and can affect the climate of the whole world. Scientists all around the globe study the effects of energy usage on the environment. When nonrenewable energy is used, such as coal, oil, gas and uranium, these energy sources can also make a waste that is harmful to the earth, plants and animals and even humans if not disposed of correctly. That’s one of the reasons many people, companies and scientists try to find better ways to use energy from renewable sources such as the sun, wind, and water. These sources are called clean energy because they don’t pollute the environment or harm living things.

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