Environmental Science and Pollution Research, vol.29, no.50, pp.75730-75743, 2022 (SCI-Expanded)
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.In sustainable development, energy is critical in human activities and shapes a sustainable future. Thus, it is an unignorable element in human development. This paper analyzes the contributions of renewable energy sources (RES)’s to the economic, environmental, and social dimensions of sustainable development. Moreover, we add energy security as a possible fourth dimension into the analysis. For the sample size, we limit the countries members of the OECD and run generalized methods of moments for the period from 1995 to 2015. This method can produce efficient estimators under the problems of endogeneity, omitted-variable bias, measurement errors, and heteroscedastic residuals. According to the results, RES has a small reducing effect (−.007%) on output in the Cobb-Douglas production function for the economic dimension. We found that RES has a positive contribution to the environmental dimension and abates the level of carbon emission (−.093%). RES also confirms the inverted-U shape of environmental Kuznets curve. In the social dimension, RES improves human development and a 1% increase in RES consumption causes to.0045% increase in human development. In the last contribution, RES has a positive effect on sustainable energy supply security in the context of electricity generation (.032%). Although the effects of RES on the environment, social, and energy security are significant, they are limited. These limitations point to barriers that can be overcome over time. Our conclusions recommend that these effects might flourish with technical developments and political support in the long run. Furthermore, public awareness, rising income level, and economies of scale are also beneficial in this process. As a result, RES might be an excellent source for a sustainable future and development. Especially, RES might have remarkable contributions to the 7th, 11th, 12th, and 13th goals of sustainable development.