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Energy is the driving force of our universe. Energy comes in many forms including kinetic and potential. One form of energy can be transferred to another. The laws of thermodynamics govern how and why energy is transferred. Without energy we wouldn't have televisions, cars or computers. Energy is the capacity to do work or the ability to make things new and comes in different forms like mechanical, chemical, heat, light and sound. Energy comes from a variety of sources. We humans use a lot of energy every day. Renewable energy source is one that can be replenished. Nonrenewable energy uses up the resources and wants their use they are gone forever. Nonrenewable energy includes coal and gas. Renewable energy examples include hydropower and solar power from the sun.
Alternative energy is energy derived from anything except fossil fuels. These alternatives include marine energy, solar power, wind, geothermal and more. Alternative energy is energy fueled in ways that do not use up natural resources or harm the environment.
The definition of alternative energy has changed over time. Hundreds of years ago coal was the new alternative fuel to save society from using wood. Europeans used to live in a vast forest. Eventually they had cut down so many trees that by 1500 A.D. they were running short of wood for heating and cooking. Scientists discovered in the 16th century they could burn coal and it was considered an alternative energy.
Today examples of alternative energy include: Hydroelectricity captures energy from falling water. Nuclear energy uses nuclear fission to release energy stored in the atomic bonds of heavy elements. Wind energy is a generation of electricity from wind. Solar energy is the use of energy from the sun.