Energy has a long long history.
Beginning back (around 1 million BC) before people could read and write, fire was discovered to be good for cooking, heating and scaring wild animals away.
Fire was civilization's first great energy invention, and wood was the main fuel for a long time.
Thousands of years ago, human beings learned how to use wind as an energy source. Wind is produced by an uneven heating by the sun on the surface of the earth because of the different specific heats of land and water. Hot air has lower pressure than cold air and since high pressure tries to equalize with low pressure the current called wind is produced. Around 1200 BC, in Polynesia, people learned to use this wind energy as a propulsive force for their boats by using a sail. Later, people built windmills to grind wheat and other cereals. The first windmills were built in Persia (Iran). They looked like large paddle wheels.
Magnetic energy was discovered in China about 5 thousand years ago.
Magnetic force pulled iron objects.
The magnetic energy was used in the first magnetic compass in 12th-13th centuries AD, for navigation in China, Europe. The arrow of the compass is made by the magnetic material and it always pointed North because of the Earth's magnetic field.
About 2500 years ago the Greek philosopher Thales discovered electricity. He saw that if he rubbing fur against a piece of amber, a static force appeared. The static force attracts the dust and other small pieces to the amber. The produced energy we know as electrostatic force.
coal as fuel
China was the first country that found, around 1000 BC, the coal and started to use it as a fuel. Chinese discovered that if they burn the coal the process of burning is slower and and take more time than the burning of wood and gave off more heat. It served as an excellent fuel and continued to be used for centuries thereafter.
Marco Polo introduced coal to the Western world.