Without a shift to renewable energy sources, climate change will have adverse effects on many terrestrial and aquatic species. On the other hand, replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy will have different effects on wildlife, some negative. To protect biota, while navigating the complexities surrounding the transition to renewable energy, will require sharing knowledge between energy experts and wildlife experts, as well as policy makers and resource managers. This special issue is intended to advance the conversation. Interactions between renewable energy facilities and fauna are complex. Each source of renewable energy has its own conservation concerns, and each presents its own set of opportunities for mitigation; Other concerns and mitigations are shared. In this overview, we review climate risks to biota, clarify the complementarities among renewables for the conservation community, and summarize research on energy effects on biota for the energy community. The papers invited for this special issue address fossil (coal, oil, natural gas) and renewable energy (terrestrial biomass energy, hydropower, marine-hydrokinetic energy, wind energy, solar energy) and affected fauna. We hope that the results of these studies, and others like them, set us on a path toward low-carbon energy systems that provide society with energy while protecting future biodiversity.