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Electrons farther from the nucleus have higher energy because they don't feel the attraction of the nucleus as strongly due to shielding of the inner electrons. Therefore, it takes less energy to remove electrons farther from the nucleus, and this means they have higher energy.
Electrons further from the nucleus would have more energy than inner electrons because they are more weakly held by the nucleus. Therefore, further electrons have greater potential energy than inner electrons. In order for the electron to move to a lower orbital it must release energy. However, for an electron to go to a higher orbital, it must gain energy.
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