Introduction: The energy basis

Energy combined with humanity’s ability to exploit its different forms is an important key to understanding the economic development of society. Since the beginning of humanity, we have learned to utilise an increasing number of energy sources for an increasing number of purposes. This development has been instrumental in the success of human beings and the emergence of our high-tech civilisation. In this theme, we will look more closely at the role of energy in the development of human beings from hunter-gatherer cultures to modern industrialised societies. Fossil fuels are an important factor in this story, firstly because they made industrialisation possible, and secondly that the burning of these fuels is the main cause of climate change, which is currently in full swing. Therefore, this theme also focuses on the challenge that is currently facing humanity; making the transition to a new, renewable energy basis.

Next: Humanity’s energy history