Types of Energy

Energy is the ability to do work and there are many types of energy.

Mechanical Energy

is the energy of motion that does the work like the wind turns a windmill.


Heat Energy

where motion or rise in temperature is caused by heat like a fire in your fireplace.

Chemical Energy

is the chemical reaction causing changes; food and fuel both store chemical energy.

Electrical Energy

is when motion, light or heat is produced by an electrical current like the electric coils on your stove.

Gravitational Energy

where motion, like water going over a dam, is caused by gravity's pull.

When energy is used it's changed from one form to another. Let's look at an example of how energy changes: The gravitational energy of falling water changes to mechanical energy when it turns a turbine. The energy from the turbine turns a generator that creates electricity that you use to turn on a light.