Due to its overarching macroeconomic importance, energy is now a precious commodity in global financial markets.
In education, since energy is the common link between the living and non-living realms of the universe, it is therefore an integrator across all fields in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education and research.
Virtually every discipline investigates some aspect of energy, including history, anthropology, public policy, international relations, human and ecosystem health, economics, technology, physics, geology, ecology, business management, environmental science, and engineering.
Consumers are increasingly confronted with decisions about the cost and availbility of different forms of household energy, while diverse groups in civil society organize around political, social, and environmental ramifications of the energy system.
There is a wealth of information about energy, but it is spread across many books, journals, websites, disciplines, ideologies, and user communities.
Information about energy tends to target either a particular form of energy or a specific audience.
A commonly agreed upon set of terms and definitions is essential to build communication among disparate groups, and to improving the general public's understanding of energy issues.
This is especially true as new words are generated, and old ones are discarded, and as technoloies, institutions, and behaviors change.
An authoritative dictionary is important for an area in which identical words mean very different things; for example, "efficiency" and "elasticity" mean different things to an economist and an engineer.
The definitions follow the principle that a term should not be defined using terminology that is more difficult to understand than the term itself, so that the reader will not have to look up other terms in order to fully comprehend the original definition.
Even beyond this, the compilers say they have tried to make sure that all definitions provide scientific accuracy within a context that is concise and understandable.