The price pyramid for oil. Let us examine how much money goes into the abundant and cheap sources of energy to just light up a lightbulb in my house:


Location and purchases of sources

First pre-processing

Extraction with liquid-fuel-powered earth-moving machines

Transportation with liquid-fuel-powered machines

Conversion into convenient form (liquefying, refining)

Transportation of resulting fuel

Use of fuel to heat water into steam

Steam rotates turbine

Turbine rotates electrical motor

Motor feeds the first transformer

Electricity is transferred by lossy transmission lines

Transmission lines feed secondary transformers

Several transformers convert the electricity until it comes into the house

Electrical energy heats up the filament to thousands of degrees Celsius

Some of the energy to heat the light bulb is emitted as visible light

And I have not even mentioned bank loans, profit at every stage, middlemen, energy futures trading, prices hikes due to demand, etc etc

Compare this to regional or local solar panels.