Achieving solutions to environmental problems that we face today requires long-term potential actions for sustainable development. In this regard. renewable energy resources appear to be the one of the most efficient and effective solutions. So clean, domestic and renewable energy is commonly accepted as the key for future life for Turkey. Turkey's geographical location has several advantages for extensive use of most of these renewable energy sources. Because of this and the fact that it has limited fossil fuel resources, a gradual shift from fossil fuels to renewables seems to be serious and the sole alternative for Turkey. This article presents a review of the present energy situation and sustainability, technical and economical potential of renewable energy sources and future policies for the energy sector in Turkey. Also, potential solutions to current environmental problems are identified along with renewable energy technologies. Throughout the paper several problems relating to renewable energy sources, environment and sustainable development are discussed from both current and future perspectives. The renewable energy potential of the country and their present use are evaluated here based on the available data. The present study shows that there is an important potential for renewables in Turkey. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.