We will look at examples of in-situ (and ex-situ) synchrotron-based experiments, specifically X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy (XAS), in the research of energy storage (Li-ion battery intercalation reactions), energy conversion (surface reactions on fuel-cell catalysts) and energy harvesting (catalytic H2 production from ethanol). Due to the tunability of synchrotron X-rays, species-specific information can be obtained from nearly every known constituent element of energy-related materials. Using the near-edge or the extended fine structure in an XAS spectrum, the chemical state and the local atomic structure from a material can be obtained from a single experiment. In addition, the high brightness, high coherence and short pulse trains allow synchrotron light to be used for species-specific, in-situ studies at high temporal and energy resolutions. Using a survey of the current state of research on materials for energy storage, conversion and harvesting, a vision of the future research in these areas will be presented.