Global energy demands and environmental concerns are a driving force for use of alternative, sustainable and clean energy sources. Solar and wind are among the most promising sources and have been developing steadily in recent years. However, these energy developments are not free of adverse environmental consequences, which require appropriate reclamation procedures. The environmental issues caused by solar and wind plants were reviewed in this paper by summarizing existing studies and synthesizing the principles that could underlie development of reclamation practices. The major environmental drawback of solar and wind energy plants are bird mortality, biodiversity, and habitat loss; noise; visual impact; and hazardous chemicals used in solar panels. Available mitigation measures to minimize these adverse environmental impacts, and appropriate reclamation protocol for the disturbed ecosystems, including key research needs are discussed. We include socio-economic perspectives of solar and wind energy, such as policy related to re-powering initiatives, decommissioning, and reclamation liability. The intent of this paper is to provide current perspectives on environmental issues associated with solar and wind energy development, strategies to mitigate environmental impacts, and potential reclamation practices to solar and wind energy planners and developers.