Total energy consumption per capita of any country is a critical input for the economic and social development. But nowadays, the current energy production systems are not sustainable and they are not environment friendly. Increased fossil energy consumptions in manufacturing, transportation and standard of living in the growing population have the highest impact on the environment in terms of global warming potential and air pollution. Also fossil fuel prices are increasing because of shortening of fossil fuel sources. Sustainable development improves standard of life economically and environmentally over the long term in a way that must be supported by the industrial structure of the country. In order to sustain energy availability and keep environment livable for future generations, finding new alternatives is necessary. Increased awareness of society about environmental issues and fossil energy sources depletion support new clean alternatives. These alternatives are one of the important and determinant policy areas for the countries, and should include both short and long term energy policies. This paper discusses the environmental pollution caused by energy consumption, and the role of conventional and renewable energy technologies as one component of the effective sustainable development and solution. Also, renewable energy potential of Turkey for assessment of the green energy systems is investigated in terms of sustainable development, environmental impact and prices. All the given results in this paper will be useful to researchers, engineers, decision and policy makers in industry and government. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.