Climate Change Stories

Renewable Energy Transition

Accelerating a Clean, Green, and Equitable Future

View of several wind turbines on a West Virginia ridge top.
West Virginia wind farm Wind farm turbines situated on a ridge top in the Appalachian mountains of West Virginia. © Kent Mason

How can we speed up the transition to renewable energy?

Our vision is for a clean, green, and equitable energy future. The world needs at least a nine-fold increase in renewable energy production to meet the Paris Agreement climate goals and much more to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. The rapid transition to renewable energy will be good for people and the planet. But the land-use footprint for this buildout will be large because renewable energy infrastructure requires a lot of land—especially onshore wind and large-scale solar installations. This raises the potential for land-use conflicts over renewable energy. We need to go smart to go fast—deploying renewable energy in ways that support goals for climate, conservation, and communities.

Driving the Energy Transition

By delivering innovative strategies grounded in leading science, partnerships, public policy, and market-based approaches, TNC is helping catalyze a rapid renewable energy buildout that safeguards nature and supports an equitable transition for communities.

TNC is currently focusing on the United States, Europe, and India, and piloting strategies in Africa, China, and Latin America. We are working with multilateral institutions and partners around the world to share knowledge and influence commitments, to support a low conflict, low carbon, and community-friendly renewable energy future.

Aerial photo of solar panels in India.

Global Renewables Watch

Global Renewables Watch will be a regularly updated atlas of utility-scale solar and wind installations around the world.

Check out this upcoming tool

Identifying the Best Places for Renewable Energy

  • Map of the Site Renewables Right tool's wildlife layers in the central U.S.

    Site Renewables Right

    To help accelerate the deployment of wind and solar energy in a way that helps people and nature thrive, The Nature Conservancy is providing the award-winning Site Renewables Right map. See the Science

  • Photo of a woman in India working on a solar panel in her village.

    SiteRight in India

    Advancing the rapid deployment of renewable energy in India to meet rising energy demand while mitigating climate change. See SiteRight in India

  • Photo of wind turbines dotting yellow rolling hills in Croatia.

    Smarter Energy Siting in Croatia Helps Achieve Climate & Biodiversity Goals

    A single county in Croatia could meet more than half of the country's entire national renewables target without grave impacts to wildlife—and that’s good news for the global energy transformation. See the Transition in Croatia

Planning for a Clean and Green Future

Advancing Policies and Markets for Renewables

  • Photo of a wind turbine in a broad, flat Iowa field, with other turbines in background.

    Beyond Carbon-Free: A Framework for Purpose-Led Renewable Energy

    This report by LevelTen Energy, The Nature Conservancy and the National Audubon Society guides the renewable energy industry toward a sustainable and equitable clean energy transition. Download Beyond Carbon-Free White Paper

Driving Benefits for Communities and Nature

  • Photo of solar panels in Nevada.

    Mining the Sun in Nevada and West Virginia

    Nevada and West Virginia, two states with very different identities, are finding themselves on the cutting edge of clean energy opportunity by repurposing former mine lands with solar energy. See the Opportunities for Mining the Sun

  • Electrical engineer woman checking solar photovoltaic panels on the roof of a solar farm.

    Long Island Solar Roadmap

    A new report details how to advance clean energy development on New York's Long Island while safeguarding the places people value most. Follow the Long Island Roadmap

Saving Rivers and Transitioning from Fossil Fuels



Science & Tools

  • The Purpose-Driven Toolkit is an integrated suite of clean energy procurement resources that embed 3C principles. It includes the following tools.

    The Offer Assessment Form

    This is a template for assessing impact and identifying projects that stand out from a 3C perspective. This form provides a standard scoring methodology and customization features if there are certain issues that a buyer would like to prioritize.

    The RFP Template and Narrative Questionnaire

    The template and questionnaire provide background language to help buyers communicate their preferences for projects with strong 3C characteristics through their initial RFP.

    Power with Purpose: 
    Driving Change Through Clean Energy Procurement
    Low resolution version (2MB)

    Power with Purpose 
    Hi resolution version (25MB)

    This case study shares the lessons learned and best practices for applying the 3C framework based on a national procurement process. The study describes the partnership between electric vehicle manufacturer Rivian and The Nature Conservancy (TNC), which used their organizational strengths and expertise to develop guidance for other companies to meet their renewable energy needs while enabling system-wide 3C benefits. It provides a market-tested open-source toolkit, including sample Request for Proposals (RFP) content, a complete Offer Form and scoring template, assessment guidance, and other recommendations for developing a purpose-driven procurement process. These tools are intended for industry leaders to use and adapt, in a way that is consistent with their company values, to accelerate the adoption of purpose-driven clean energy projects.

  • This report details the unintended environmental impacts on critical habitats and ecosystems from renewable energy development. 

Photo of an electric vehicle at a charging station.
An electric car charging in California. © Michael Simons