The Best Renewable Energy Documentaries, TED Talks and Videos

We’ve collected some of the best renewable energy documentaries on Netflix, YouTube channels, hand-picked videos from pre-eminent thought leaders and video podcasters, and TED Talks covering renewable energy - energy policy, renewable energy jobs and recruitment, industry reports, analysis, and data science, and technologies like wind, solar, storage and alternative clean energies.

Updated 22nd December 2020.

We’ll keep this list updated so that it’s a comprehensive source for renewable and sustainable energy videos. If you think we might have missed some essential sources, please let us know below. We’ve turned on comments at the bottom of this article and we’d love to hear from you.

We bring you… the best sustainability climate change and renewable energy videos.

Renewable Energy, Climate Change & Sustainability Documentaries

We’ve handpicked (what we think) are some great documentaries for you to investigate and watch on the subjects of sustainability, climate change and renewable energy. They range from the bigger budget Leonardo DiCaprio produced films to smaller, but just as interesting, independent movies.


1. A Life on Our Planet

Probably one of the hardest hitting documentaries on the climate disaster we’ve seen. This is a must-watch.  Sir David Attenborough highlights the defining moments of his lifetime and the devastating changes he has seen. Whilst addressing some of the biggest challenges facing life on our planet, there is also a powerful message of hope for future generations as Attenborough reveals the solutions to help save our planet from disaster.



2. Minimalism

This sustainability documentary explores consumerism and introduces minimalism as an ideology. Showing people from all walks of life – families, entrepreneurs, architects, artists, etc. – who strive to live a more meaningful life with less stuff. Time to downscale your stuff? 


3. Before the flood

A National Geographic Documentary featuring Leonardo DiCaprio’s journey around the globe witnessing climate change firsthand and meeting people who are taking action against it. 


4. The 4th Revolution: Energy autonomy

A vision of a world powered by 100% renewable energy. This documentary shows how this energy transition would decentralize power and distribute capital more equally. 


5. Tomorrow

An uplifting sustainability documentary – who would have thought 🙂 The filmmakers travelled around the world to meet local communities and people that are working on creative solutions to environmental and social challenges. This documantary showcases innovative ideas, rethink agriculture, energy, economy, education and governance.



This documentary attempts to debunk the ideas suggesting clean energy isn’t profitable. Highlighting how the economy can benefit by looking at the US and China battle to win the renewable energy race through jobs and technology. Proof is delivered by a bunch of success stories from Germany and India where the business is booming.


7. Normal Is Over

A view of the countless ways humans have put our planet in peril. Tackling issues such as control of our food production, climate change, species extinction and depletion of critical natural resources. By examining how our economic and financial system connects all these issues and offers up a number of solutions that could be used immediately.


8. An inconvenient Truth

A classic documentary following Al Gore on the lecture circuit, campaigning to raise public awareness of the dangers of global warming and the call for immediate action to stop its destructive effects on the environment.


9. An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power (2017)

Ten years after the above documentary, environmental activist and former U.S. Vice President Al Gore documents where we are in the climate change fight. Gore reviews the state of our planet by detailing some of the real and present threats we were warned about in his 2006 award-winning film.


10. Reinventing Power: America’s Renewable Energy Boom 

This documentary tells the story of clean energy, beginning with the innovations and moving on to installation. It also tells the personal stories of people whose lives have changed because of the clean energy economy. I


Renewable Energy TED Talks

Everyone knows TED and TEDx talks so here’s a list of some of the best on the topic of Renewable Energy.


1. Accelerating The Shift To Clean Energy, Bill Nussey

Topic: Building local, consumer-driven electricity markets, such as the Brooklyn Microgrid, with renewable energy resources. (2017).

Nussey is an entrepreneur, investor, speaker, clean tech CEO and founder of the Freeing Energy Project.


2. Batteries Not Included, Marek Kubik

Topic: How energy storage technologies are transforming our approach to electricity generation with renewables. (2018).

Kubik is an energy and sustainability futurist, Forbes 30 Under 30 Honouree and TEDx speaker.


3. Ground Zero For Global Energy Transition, Justin Locke

Topic: The role of leadership that small islands are taking in developing sustainable energy solutions. (2017).

Locke is a writer and speaker on sustainable energy and the director for the Islands Energy Program at the Rocky Mountain Institute.


4. A Printable, Flexible, Organic Solar Cell, Hannah Bürckstümmer

Topic: Efficient, flexible organic solar cells that can be printed in any shape to allow the facades of buildings to capture solar from every exposed surface. (2017).

Bürckstümmer has a background in chemistry and a curiosity about our environment, which she has translated into research into third-generation solar cells and work on the strategy and marketing for organic photovoltaics.


5. The Thrilling Potential For Off-Grid Solar Energy, Amar Inamdar

Topic: How the factors of distributed generation– lower costs, infrastructure and decentralization- are revolutionizing the energy market, to the benefit of the environment. (2017).

Inamdar works with businesses and entrepreneurs to imagine, create and grow markets that address our biggest social and environmental challenges.

– Original content Forbes Magazine


Renewable Energy Videos from YouTube

Below we have some of the other videos from sources outside of TED talks.


1. Elon Musk on Climate Change and Renewable Energy

Topic: Elon’s take on Electric planes, to rockets to putting carbon which is under the ground into the atmosphere. Full episode here.

Elon Musk is, well, Elon Musk. No introduction needed we don’t think.


2. Disruptors: Smart power – BBC News

Topic: The push towards renewable energy and the quest for greater efficiency mean that we need to find more ways of storing energy.

Part of the BBC Disruptors series.


3. Joe Rogan Experience #1259 – David Wallace-Wells

Topic: The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming.

David Wallace-Wells is Deputy editor and climate columnist for New York magazine.Part of Joe Rogan video channel.


4. The 16 Year Old Calling Out Global Leaders on Climate Change

Topic: Upon realizing her generation won’t have a future unless the world’s politicians act now on climate change, then 15-year-old Greta Thunberg skipped school in August 2018 to protest outside the Swedish parliament. What started as a one-person strike soon gained global momentum.

In ‘Make The World Greta Again’, Vice follows Greta and the organizers of the school strikes for climate as they are cementing a worldwide movement ahead of their first global protest that took place on March 15th, 2019.

It was the biggest climate strike in history with up to 1.6 million students in more than 125 countries.


A few honourable mentions

3 youtube channels that are well worth a mention

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