Due to the polarization of ions in a crystal that has non-central symmetry, a piezoelectric potential (piezopotential) is created in the crystal by applying a stress. For materials such as ZnO, GaN, and InN in the wurtzite structure family, the effect of piezopotential on the transport behavior of charge carriers is significant due to their multiple functionalities of piezoelectricity, semiconductor and photon excitation. By utilizing the advantages offered by these properties, a few new fields have been created. Electronics fabricated by using inner-crystal piezopotential as a "gate" voltage to tune/control the charge transport behavior is named piezotronics, with applications in strain/force/pressure triggered/controlled electronic devices, sensors and logic units. Piezo-phototronic effect is a result of three-way coupling among piezoelectricity, photonic excitation and semiconductor transport, which allows tuning and controlling of electro-optical processes by strain induced piezopotential. The objective of this review article is to introduce the fundamentals of piezotronics and piezo-phototronics and to give an updated progress about their applications in energy science and sensors. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved.