Nearly all energy we use on the Earth starts with energy from the Sun.

The Sun powers wind, tides, and the water cycle

The Water Cycle

Water_Cycle• Energy from the Sun (1) causes water from the sea to evaporate (2).
• The water vapour cools and forms clouds (3) where it condenses and falls as rain (4).
• The rain flows back across the land to the sea (5).
• It is now heated by the Sun where the water evaporates and the process starts again.

Renewable energy

The sun provides the energy needed for wind power, wave power, hydroelectric power and solar power.

The suns energy is used to evaporate water which falls as rain and collects in the resevoir (1).

The water in the resevoir has gravitational potential energy. The water flows down a pipe and turns a turbine (2). The potential energy has now been changed to kinetic energy.

The turnine turns a generator (3) to make electrical energy which is sent to houses and factories (4).

Non-renewable energy

Coal, Oil and Natural gas

The Sun’s energy was needed, a long time ago, to provide the energy to let trees grow which eventually turned to coal.

Oil and natural gas come from the decaying remains of microscopic animals and plants that needed the Sun to live.

(See Energy)