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Wind – Energy of Motion

air earth warm kinetic

Have you ever flown a kite on a warm spring day? You couldn't have done it without wind. Maybe you have seen a sailboat race. It was wind power that pushed the boats across the water. Wind is the movement of air. It is energy called kinetic energy, or energy of motion. Kinetic energy actively does work. That means wind energy works for us!

Sunlight is kinetic energy because it actively heats and lights the Earth. Potential energy is stored energy that has the ability to do work later. The chemical energy your body gets from food is a form of stored energy.

Wind Energy

Wind Energy

What causes wind to blow? The uneven heating of the Earth by the Sun creates wind. Earth is not smooth. It has uneven surfaces of soil, rock, water, and ice. As the Earth rotates, and the Sun shines, the various surfaces absorb solar energy (energy from the Sun) at different rates. Land and water near the equator absorb more solar energy and warm more quickly than the icy poles. Warm air naturally rises. When it does, cooler air moves in to take its place, creating currents of air, or winds.

Wind Energy

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