Renewable Energy Tech to Watch in 2024

We run down some of the renewable energy technologies we'll be watching in 2024.


The Waveline Magnet's unique design is the result of over 10 years of testing and development.


From wave-riding power harvesters to artificial suns, lots of companies are working toward developing new ways to produce energy more sustainably. Here are some of the most exciting renewable energy technology we're keeping an eye on in 2024.

The Waveline Magnet is a long yellow raft that can harness wave energy for desalination, producing hydrogen fuel and generating electricity. This prototype has been in development for over 10 years, resulting in a unique design.

Waveline Magnets can be built large, small or anything in between depending on the wave conditions and goals of the project. The company's co-CEO Alex Zakheos told CNET that the first commercial Waveline Magnet will likely be a smaller-sized unit focused on desalination. 

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Watch this: Top Renewable Energy Tech to Watch in 2024

Wave energy has long been a tough engineering challenge due to the ocean's punishing waves and corrosive saltwater, but the variety of approaches and innovative companies hard at work solving these problems means we'll be keeping an eye on it.

Another tough nut to crack has been fusion power. While critics say it always seems to be at least a decade away, significant milestones keep getting passed and each one brings the potential of a partially fusion-powered future closer to reality.

In December of 2022, the National Ignition Facility at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory achieved its first net energy gain, meaning the team produced a fusion reaction that generated more energy than the amount required to trigger the reaction. This feat was repeated in July of 2023, producing an even higher energy yield.


Inside the National Ignition Facility at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, 192 of the world's highest-energy lasers converge on a target to create a fusion reaction like what occurs on the sun.


While generating a net gain is a big achievement, to become a viable energy source fusion reactors will have to be producing roughly 10 times the amount of energy that goes into them, and they'll have to do it regularly.

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With several fusion projects in various stages of development all over the world, including ITER in France, the Joint European Torus in the UK and numerous fusion facilities in China, there's a lot to look out for in this space.

Finally, we're going to wrap it up with some novel applications of a staple renewable: solar. With more companies seeking to position themselves in the market as more environmentally friendly or sustainable options, solar is evolving in where and how it can be put to use.

I got to ride in an Aptera last year, a car that was designed top-to-bottom with solar in mind. The aerodynamic shape is designed to maximize efficiency and make the most of the onboard solar panels. And while some solar cars like the Sono Sion have struggled to raise funds, interest in the idea of solar cars seems to remain. 


The Aptera's aerodynamic shape is designed to maximize efficiency and make the most out of its onboard solar panels.

Jesse Orrall/CNET

Solar power is also finding its way into windows with the dawn of transparent solar panels, pushed forward by companies like Solar Window and Ubiquitous Energy.

We also saw solar power incorporated into the fight against forest fires with Dryad Networks, a company that makes a network of 'electric noses' that can sense burning forest materials and send signals to first responders for earlier detection.

To see some of the technologies we mentioned in action, check out the video in this article.

Article updated on December 26, 2023 at 5:00 AM PST

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Written by 
Jesse Orrall
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Jesse Orrall Senior Video Producer
Jesse Orrall (he/him/his) is a Senior Video Producer for CNET. He covers future tech, sustainability and the social impact of technology. He is co-host of CNET's "What The Future" series and Executive Producer of "Experts React." Aside from making videos, he's a certified SCUBA diver with a passion for music, films, history and ecology.
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