In this paper, two resource allocation schemes for energy efficient cognitive radio systems are proposed. Our design considers resource allocation approaches that adopt spectrum sharing combined with soft-sensing information, adaptive sensing thresholds, and adaptive power to achieve an energy efficient system. An energy per good-bit metric is considered as an energy efficient objective function. A multi-carrier system, such as, orthogonal frequency division multiplexing, is considered in the framework. The proposed resource allocation schemes, using different approaches, are designated as sub-optimal and optimal. The sub-optimal approach is attained by optimizing over a channel inversion power policy. The optimal approach utilizes the calculus of variation theory to optimize a problem of instantaneous objective function subject to average and instantaneous constraints with respect to functional optimization variables. In addition to the analytical results, selected numerical results are provided to quantify the impact of soft-sensing information and the optimal adaptive sensing threshold on the system performance.