Almost anything will burn if you get it hot enough; but asside from fission, fusion, and water power, most of the energy we use these days comes from easily combustible matter such as wood, coal, or petroleum products. Through the years we’ve learned to safely control and direct this combustion with external combustion steam engines and internal combution gas; diesel, jet and rocket engines.
Our dependence on petroleum products has increased over the years, and our realization that the supply is limited has increased our efforts to find similary safe and inexpensive materials from which to extract energy.
If it’s any help; the process of converting material matter into energy goes something like this: First comes the conversion to the molecular motion of heat, which creates expansion, and thrust; which is used directly in jet and rocket engines or converted to molar linear, or rotary motion through various levers and cranking mechanisims.
The gathering and storing of solar energy must be approached carefully and regulated so as not to upset our environment and nature’s balance;
where the solar energy received each day is given off each night: But maybe a safe compromise can be arranged.