When do we use "power" and when "energy"? I often ask myself: What is energy and what is power?

One game developer company asked me to translate their browser game into English and edit some of the work that has already been done. The game is about space battles, building fleets, expanding your empire by conquering other planets.

The buildings in their universe use solar power, but in Russian it's written as "Энергия", so theoretically it should be energy. However, I'm not sure if energy us the right word. What about the difference between "energy generation" and "power production", and "energy consumption" vs "power consumption"? Also they have "Solar satellites" which are ships that generate or produce power/energy.

What word should I use? I'm interested in understanding the difference between using "power" or "energy" in this specific context and possibly in general.

  • 2
    I don't know anything about your background but I'm sure you'll be able to answer your own question if you read and understand this article. Feb 26, 2018 at 8:33
  • Technical understandings aside, I suspicion you would find It uses solar energy and It runs on solar power or It is solar-powered. You can use Google Ngrams to search for all of these terms. Power-consumption, energy-consumption, power-production, energy-production.
    – TimR
    Feb 26, 2018 at 13:41

1 Answer 1


Energy is the ability to do work whereas Power is its measurement, which calculates the time by which the energy has been used. Energy is what one delivers and Power is the rate at which it is delivered.

If I have to take an example of a weightlifter to explain you the difference then power is like the strength of a weightlifter and Energy is the measure of how long he can sustain the output of power. While energy is ‘joules’, power is ‘joules per second’.

Hope my answer helps. :)

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