Welcome

United States and world energy systems are in a period of tremendous change, driven by technological advances, cultural and social pressures, and government policies to respond to the threat of climate change. Studying the history of energy illuminates this current moment, helping us to identify what questions to ask, to see what trends and patterns might repeat themselves, and to understand what is truly new and unprecedented.  

Through curated teaching units and a library of curated teaching materials, Energy History Online seeks to promote energy literacy among students, practitioners, and the interested public.  Only by understanding the complex historical forces that created our current predicament can we hope to create a more just and sustainable energy system in the future. 

From right before World War II until the late 1950s, American architects and engineers experimented with solar house heating and solar houses were built across the Midwest, Northeast, and Southwestern United States.

In October 1973, the Arab state members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) declared that they would cut oil production, and limit exports to certain countries, to protest the United States’ support for Israel in the