The era of fossil fuels was fun, but the future is solar. And as I’ve grown more and more disillusioned with photovoltaics (solar panels), I’ve grown in my optimism about solar thermal technology. And if that means using the sun to make steam to power things, resulting in a more steampunk-y future, I will not complain.
Some really interesting work was going on in this field back in the 1800’s. It may be time to pick up where they left off?