In their push for economic development, developing countries will confront escalating demands for energy, the depletion of natural resources and the degradation of the environment. How does a nation meet its growing needs for energy without damaging or destroying the environmental support system?This paper examines the four factors that are essential for sustainable energy development: encouraging private investment, promoting energy conservation, mitigating the adverse environmental impacts of energy use, and instituting systematic programs of human resource management (HRM) as the linchpin of all these factors.Electric power is a critical component of national energy consumption. Shortages of this power constitute a growing threat to the economic viability of developing nations, whose capacity for generating electricity is meager in comparison with industrialized nations. The private sector can play a key role in helping to remedy problems of power shortages and capital scarcities through private ownership or investment. Systematic energy conservation and efficiency are also key strategies to help meet the growing energy demands in developing countries, while easing the strain on financial and natural resources.Changes in institutions and attitudes are needed to solve environmental problems for the long-term. New technologies alone will not solve these problems. The changing nature of the world's interconnected economies and environment calls for a cadre of personnel trained beyond narrow traditional skills, and operating within viable, functional institutional settings.