Clean energy is important because it has the power to enhance economic growth, support energy independence, and improve the health and well-being of the American people. 

The U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) is committed to leading the nation’s transition to a clean energy economy for these reasons.

What Is Clean Energy?

Renewable energy resources provide an affordable, reliable, and sustainable U.S. power supply—while also reducing the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. 

We can harness abundant domestic resources including wind energysolar energybioenergygeothermal energyhydropower, and marine energy to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. 

About 20% of all U.S. electricity now comes from renewable energy sources with 60% from fossil fuels like coal, petroleum, and natural gas, and the remainder from nuclear energy. 

Why Do We Need Clean Energy?

Renewable power is not only cost-competitive; it’s also the most cost-effective source of energy in many situations, depending on the location and season. 

Still, we have more work to do both on the technologies themselves and on our nation’s electric system as a whole to achieve the U.S. climate goal of 100% carbon-pollution-free electricity by 2035. 

EERE’s job is to give Americans access to the energy resources they want at a price they can afford with the infrastructure they can count on. 

Learn more about why EERE believes in bringing clean energy and efficiency improvements to the American people:

Student intern with mentor

Diversity in STEM and Clean Energy

Diversifying the clean energy workforce and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) introduces a wider variety of perspectives that support greater innovation and American competitiveness. 

American manufacturing

Domestic Manufacturing and Competitiveness

We need American-made clean energy technologies to provide the fastest, most effective, and most lucrative pathway to a sustainable power supply.

Energy Accessibility and Affordability

Providing all Americans with affordable clean energy, especially those in underserved and low-income communities, has an immediate and tangible impact on daily lives.

multiple diverse color hands in a circle

Energy Equity and Environmental Justice

The transition to a clean energy economy requires a transformative commitment to prioritizing disadvantaged and underserved communities

Hydropower dam in the mountains.

Energy Independence and Security

Adopting clean energy in the United States reduces the need to rely on other countries for energy resources and technologies, while also helping isolated communities support their own energy needs.

Clean power

Energy Reliability

Using more renewable energy resources—solar, water, wind, geothermal, and bioenergy—and energy storage gives us more ways to keep the power on or bring it back after an outage.

Utility lines at night

Energy Resilience

A modern electric grid that incorporates renewable energy sources can support a reliable power supply under harsh weather, cyber threats, and dynamic grid conditions.

Two cranes sit on solar panels.

Environmental Impacts

Renewable energy has fewer harmful environmental impacts than conventional energy does and can help combat the effects of climate change.

A young person sits on the side of a lake looking at the camera smiling.

Health and Safety

Transitioning to clean energy reduces air pollution, which can improve public health and lead to lower healthcare costs.

Innovation

Advancing renewable-energy, energy-efficient, and sustainable-transportation technologies will transform U.S. communities and spur economic opportunity.

Hispanic clean energy worker

Job Creation and Growth

Clean energy research, innovation, and deployment creates jobs and supports the growth of American businesses.

State capitol building in the winter.

State, Local, and Community Energy Transitions 

EERE is helping communities define their own priorities—whether greater affordability, reduced power outages, sustainable job creation, cleaner air, or other unique requirements—and leverage clean energy solutions to meet their needs.