Energy produced and used in such a way that it meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
The term “sustainable energy” is often used interchangeably with the term renewable energy. In general, renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, and hydroelectric energy are widely considered to be sustainable. However, particular renewable energy projects, such as the clearing of forests for the production of biofuels, can lead to similar or even worse environmental damage than using fossil fuel energy. Nuclear power is a safe zero-emission source, but its sustainability is debated. The concept of sustainable energy is similar to the concepts of green energy and clean energy in its consideration of environmental impacts, however formal definitions of sustainable energy also include economic and socio-cultural impacts.
The energy transition to meet the world’s needs for electricity, heating, cooling, and power for transport in a sustainable way is widely considered to be one of the greatest challenges facing humanity in the 21st century.