5 Documentaries Highlighting the Importance of Green Energy

Jonah Carte
solar power

It easy to think climate change is too big to solve. These five inspirational movies show how even a few individuals can have a big impact.

Whether you call it global warming or climate change, it’s pretty obvious that we need to develop and use more green, clean, renewable energy sources. We are in the midst of an energy crisis that is destroying ecosystems and doing permanent damage to the Earth. It’s easy to think these issues are unsolvable, or maybe we hope that someone will come along and fix them for us.


The five films below free us of those notions. Interesting, informative and inspirational, these documentaries show how the actions of one, multiplied into the actions of many, can make a positive impact. They dissect the reasons we need to stop using fossil fuels for electricity generation and instead embrace clean, renewable energy.

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power (2017)

Ten years after shooting An Inconvenient Truth (2006), environmental activist and former U.S. Vice President Al Gore documents where we are in the climate change fight. Directed by Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk, 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.

The camera follows former the former Vice President as he travels around the world working on global climate policy. While it is obvious that the situation is dire, Gore emphasizes that there is still time to stop global warming and offers possible solutions.

Before the Flood (2016)

Leonardo DiCaprio, the man behind The 11th Hour (2007), ups his cred as a champion for the environment and supporter of renewable energy in Before the Flood (2016). With renowned filmmaker Marin Scorsese as executive producer, the film, presented by National Geographic, examines how we can mitigate environmental issues such as the disappearance of natural ecosystems and the extinction of the species who live in them.


DiCaprio is joined by an impressive array of famous people and well-known environmental champions, including Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Pope Francis and Ban Ki-Moon, as well as a NASA scientist.

Happening: A Clean Energy Revolution (2017)

Filmmaker James Redford, son of Robert Redford, takes us with him on a personal journey across the United States to meet clean energy pioneers, often finding them in unexpected places. POWERHOME Solar reviews that this HBO documentary highlights that the clean energy revolution is well underway.

The film features innovators and entrepreneurs in places from Buffalo, N.Y., to Georgetown, Texas. It provides real answers to complex energy problems and the challenges of reducing our reliance on fossil fuels. As an example, the film covers the revival of rooftop solar power in Nevada. When net metering was outlawed in Nevada, the solar industry was stopped in its tracks. An unlikely coalition of activists, politicians and executives banded together, causing the state to reverse the decision and make solar viable again.

Reinventing Power: America’s Renewable Energy Boom (2018)

In just over 50 minutes, this documentary chronicles the backstory of clean energy, beginning with innovations and moving on to installations. It goes beyond the technology to tell personal stories of people whose lives have changed because of the clean energy economy. It focuses on the people who are transforming a clean energy future from a goal to a reality. These people are rebuilding what’s broken, rethinking what’s possible, and revitalizing the communities around them.

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The film goes beyond personal stories to underline the idea that we don’t have to choose between jobs or a clean environment, that we can keep our lights on and protect the environment and our communities. It makes clear that supporting a clean energy future can create a better, more prosperous future for everyone.

The Future of Energy: Lateral Power to the People (2015)

Spotlighting communities and individuals on the leading edge of the clean revolution, this documentary focuses on two model towns and the steps they’ve taken toward clean energy. According to the film’s experts, renewable energy such as solar, wind and water could supply the entire world with energy by the year 2050. The question is: Do we have the political and social will to make it happen?


The film explores how large-scale renewable power can be more than a dream. It is, in fact, a reality being implemented by many businesses, cities, and communities throughout the world.

While the documentaries on this list make it clear that the situation is dire, and that action is needed, hope is still alive. We have the power to make the necessary changes, and that if we can put a man on the moon, and beyond, we can find solutions to save our planet.