In this study, a comprehensive review focusing on key strategies of energy saving and climate control technologies for greenhouses is presented. Following the brief and concise assessment of existing greenhouse systems in terms of their role in total energy consumption; cost-effective, energy-efficient and environmentally friendly technologies are analyzed in detail for potential utilization in greenhouses for notable reductions in energy consumption and emission levels. The technologies considered within the scope of this research are mainly renewable and sustainable based solutions such as photovoltaic (PV) modules, solar thermal (T) collectors, hybrid PV/T collectors and systems, phase change material (PCM) and underground based heat storage techniques, energy-efficient heat pumps, alternative facade materials for better thermal insulation and power generation (heat insulation solar glass, PV glazing, aerogel and vacuum insulation panel, polycarbonate sandwich panels), innovative ventilation technologies using pre-heating and cooling (high performance windcatchers) and efficient lighting systems. The findings from the research clearly reveal that up to 80% energy saving can be achieved through appropriate retrofit of conventional greenhouses with a payback period of 4-8 years depending on climatic conditions and crop type. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.