Some day some fellow will invent a way of concentrating and storing up sunshine to use instead of this old, absurd Prometheus scheme of fire. …
This scheme of combustion to get power makes me sick to think of — it is so wasteful. It is just the old, foolish Prometheus idea, and the father of Prometheus was a baboon.
When we learn how to store electricity, we will cease being apes ourselves; until then we are tailless orangutans. You see, we should utilize natural forces and thus get all of our power. Sunshine is a form of energy, and the winds and the tides are manifestations of energy.
Do we use them? Oh, no! We burn up wood and coal, as renters burn up the front fence for fuel. We live like squatters, not as if we owned the property.
There must surely come a time when heat and power will be stored in unlimited quantities in every community, all gathered by natural forces. Electricity ought to be as cheap as oxygen, for it can not be destroyed.
— Thomas Edison, 1910