My textbook states:
In the staggered form of ethane, the electron clouds of C-H bonds are as far apart as possible, thus there are minimum repulsive forces, minimum energy and maximum stability. On the other hand, when the staggered form changes into the eclipsed form, the C-H bond clouds come closer to each other resulting in increased electron cloud repulsion. To check the increased repulsive forces, molecule will have to possess more energy. And therefore it is less stable
My question pertains to the statement in bold text. Am I correct in thinking that in the eclipsed conformer the electron clouds repel more, this repulsion would (sort of) want to break up the molecule so to fight this breaking tendency, the molecule has to possess greater energy to control these new repulsive forces?
If I am wrong, what does this statement mean?