"The whole problem of energy sources is going to be solved by little solutions, not by some big new piece of technology that does everything. We got into this crisis by believing that we had one big piece of technology that would do everything (oil)."
Ran Argal gives his dimension shifting apparatus its head after moving out of our galaxy into intergalactic space, heading toward the great Andromeda galaxy.
I can't think of an earlier direct reference to this exact idea, but take a look at this manual search for a habitable planet by EE 'Doc' Smith in Skylark of Valeron.
Automated Search For Habitable Planets-related
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