The aim of this study is to investigate the relative performance of renewable and non-renewable energy consumption on economic growth in 17 emerging economies. For this purpose, the annual data from 1980 to 2012 is examined using with bootstrap panel causality that allows both cross-section dependency and country specific heterogeneity across countries. In the case of renewable energy consumption, the results reveal that the growth hypothesis is confirmed only for Peru; the conservation hypothesis is supported for Colombia and Thailand; the feedback hypothesis is found for Greece and South Korea and the neutrality hypothesis is valid for the other 12 emerging economies. In the case of non-renewable energy consumption, the growth hypothesis is found for China, Colombia, Mexico and Philippines; the conservation hypothesis is confirmed for Egypt, Peru and Portugal; the feedback hypothesis is supported only for Turkey and the neutrality hypothesis is valid for the other 9 emerging economies. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.