Modern life is characterized by a constant quest for energy. Every day, we refill our gas tanks, charge our phones or replace the batteries in our devices. This need for energy can provoke anxiety when we cannot find power plugs to charge our laptops in classrooms, conference rooms or restaurants. We sometimes worry whether we have switched off the stove or air conditioner before leaving home. Then there are the bigger issues, such as energy costs and the environmental impact caused by energy production and consumption. We consume more energy all the time, but the experience of using it is hardly satisfactory.
New energy technologies are removing some of these concerns. But progress in the energy sector has mainly focused on quantity over quality in terms of energy supplies. For instance, we consume a much higher amount of energy per capita than our parents' generation. This reflects the availability of more energy sources resulting from better mining technologies for offshore and deep sea drilling and the tapping of unconventional oil and gas supplies, as well as continuous and significant investments in modern energy supply chains and related infrastructure.