One of the key challenges facing todays' energy market is to provide highly efficient, low-cost, and environmentally benign alternative-energy devices in the near future, including solar and wind power, geothermal and hydroelectric power, and batteries and supercapcitors. The impending exhaustion and the necessity to lower our dependence on fossil fuel, the desire to develop a more sustainable transportation system, and the demand for a cleaner and secure energy future are all pushing the unprecedented research effort and massive technological innovations that have been experienced in the last few years. Concurrently, global investment initiatives in renewable energy have seen a rapid boost in recent years, driven by concerns about climate change, the forecast of an increasing cost of fossil fuels, and national economic policies to create jobs. Looking forward, global investment in renewable-energy projects alone will rise from $195 billion in 2010 to $395 billion in 2020 and to $460 billion by 2030. Over the next 20 years this growth will require nearly $7 trillion of new capital. Reflecting the rising production and investment levels, the installed capacity of renewable power sources has been projected to climb, reaching 2.5 TW by 2030, a growth of over 800%. Although most of this market is currently occupied by solar and onshore wind-power units, lithium (Li)-ion batteries (LIBs), supercapacitors, and their hybrid devices have seen an upsurge in market share in the recent years, mostly due to the resurgence of electric vehicles and a renewed push for reducing airborne pollution from vehicles. In addition to electric vehicles, LIB and supercapacitors play important roles in our daily lives by powering numerous portable consumer electronics including laptops, personal digital assistants, and cell phones.
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