What is Energy?

We are constantly using energy. We use it to make things. We use it to power cars, trucks, trains and planes. We use it to heat and cool our homes. And we use it to produce electricity for lights and other appliances in our homes, schools and businesses.

We use more and more energy in our daily lives. In the last hundred years our energy use has grown enormously. People use more electricity, travel more, and use hundreds of appliances that make our lives easier.

But where does all this energy come from? Most energy we use comes from burning fossil fuels, such as coal, oil and natural gas. The rest of the energy we use around the world comes from nuclear reactors and hydroelectric power, or from other renewable energy sources, like the wind and the sun.

As well as finding out ways to capture the natural energy of the sun and the wind, scientists are now discovering ways of using the sea, the earth and even waste to create electricity. Because these are all renewable resources, the energy they produce is called ‘renewable energy’.

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