The Industrial Revolution that powered the great technical, economic and social transformation of the last 300 years, was itself driven by a Scientific Revolution, initiated by Isaac Newton’s articulation of the law of gravity and the three laws of motion. These are the laws that govern the behavior of inanimate objects. Newton laid the foundations for how these laws could be utilized to develop a myriad ways to harness Energy to power engines to perform work and to structure, order and control our environment to better suit our needs.
Energy – from steam to oil and electricity
That Energy was initially generated by burning wood and coal to generate steam to power steam engines.
Further scientific discovery and ingenuity saw the invention of the internal combustion engine and the burning of liquid hydrocarbon fuels to transform transport and logistics as it was adapted for use in locomotives, ships, autos, trucks, and airplanes.
Once we discovered how to utilize electricity and master its distribution, it was possible to centralize generation by using huge steam driven turbines to generate electricity at power stations. Thereafter hydro-electric generation from dams was introduced into the electricity generation mix.