Hydrogen sulfide (H2S), the third gasotransmitter, next to nitric oxide and carbon monoxide, is a key mediator in physiology and disease. It is involved in homeostatic functions, such as blood pressure control, electrolyte balance and apoptosis, and regulates pathological mechanisms, including oxidative stress and inflammation. Besides, it is believed to serve as an oxygen sensor under ischemic conditions. The kidney plays a decisive role in many of these processes, indicating an interplay between H2S and renal (patho)physiology. In this review we focus on the (protective) functions of H2S in the kidney. We first discuss endogenous renal H2S production and signaling and elaborate on its regulatory functions in renal physiology. Next, we present data on the role of aberrant H2S levels in the onset and progression of renal disease and suggest the use of H2S metabolites as biomarkers. Finally, we describe that exogenous H2S can protect the kidney against various forms of injury and conclude that modulation of renal H2S levels holds promise for renal patients in the future.