Energy possessed by a body by virtue of its position, (e.g., height above the ground) or configuration shape) is called potential energy.
There are two types of potential energies. These are as follows:
Gravitational Potential Energy : The potential energy of a body by vertue of its height above ground level is called gravitational potential energy.
Example; the energy stored in a body held at a certain height from the ground is gravitational potential energy.
Elastic Potential Energy : The potential energy of a body by virtue of its configuration (or shape) is called elastic potential energy. Example; the potential energy stored in the coiled spring of a clock is elastic potential energy.
Examples : (i) Water stored in an overhead tank possesses gravitational potential energy by virtue of its position (height above ground level).
(ii) A raised hammer possesses gravitational potential energy by virtue of its height above the ground level.