Video: Historical energy production by source

For nearly all of human history, we relied almost entirely on “renewable” sources of energy, and life was nasty, brutish, and short. That began to change in the 1800s when coal started being used to power the industrial revolution.

Since that time, coal, oil, natural gas, hydroelectric and nuclear power have elevated the human standard of living. The video below does an excellent job of demonstrating global energy use over time.