Interesting thing to ponder,
Oil "is the alternative energy".
Prior to this discovery and application of fossil fuels we had all that we are considering "alternative" now.
Now get this;
If we study what people have realized about the great pyramids, that within them are elaborately decorated interiors, and of them, is one of many stories told on the walls.
This story is of an electric lighting they used which was organic. It is not hard to imagine that lighting the interior of one of these by torches would suffocate if not just make the workers seriously ill. As best we can tell, geography and many things were different 3k years ago, and apparently the Egyptians had a way to take simply organic methods and make crude batteries using metals and citric acids set up in clay jugs. They also had a methods yet to be fully understood, that would work like a light bulb.
Such is the story in the walls.
Second hand solar.. so to speak.