The role of renewable energy is becoming more eminent in the global energy mix. The power generated by renewable energy in 2018 accounts for more than 25% globally with total installed capacity of 2,350 GW. As integration of renewable energy keeps on increasing at an average of at least 8% year on year (International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)), there is a lookout for newer ways to conserve and store power generated by the renewables.
The power generation sector is one of the important industrial sectors which contribute to the increasing carbon foot print. When it comes to power generation, the trend is shifting from non-renewable sources of energy such as coal and crude oil toward more clean and renewable sources such as wind and solar power and many others that are at nascent stage, but likely to gravitate towards commercialization. Recent developments including a major utility holding company in the U.S., viz. Xcel Energy, to phase out all its power generation assets that use non-renewable sources and committment to becoming a 100% clean energy producer has raised eyebrows. Apart from aiming toward 100% clean generation, there is also an increasing focus toward the use of energy efficient technologies, such as battery storage (using non-lithium ion batteries), distributed generation, electric grid modernization and advanced nuclear reactors along with hydrogen, sunlight to fuels, smart cities, biological sequestration and advanced manufacturing technologies, being the top priority clean energy innovation areas, ushering in a new era of clean energy 2.0.