The use of green energy sources to feed direct current (DC) microgrids is gaining prominence over traditional centralised alternating current (AC) systems. Direct current microgrids are characterised by the use of intermediate DC-DC converter, which acts as power conditioning units. Hence, the choice of an appropriate DC-DC converter becomes significant as the overall system efficiency is strongly dependent on the converter's performance. This paper proposes a novel high-gain–high-power DC-DC converter for DC microgrid, which is one of the significant steps forward in the development of DC microgrids. The suitability of the proposed high-gain–high-power DC-DC converter is demonstrated by experimental tests of the 60 V/1.1 kV, 3 kW converter; test results validate the converter's suitability for DC distribution. A significant number of performance parameters of the proposed converter are compared with state-of-the-art converter topologies demonstrating the superior capabilities of the proposed converter. This paper also portrays the potential benefits that could be reaped by trending towards DC instead of existing alternating current system. The advantages and challenges to be confronted in the foreseeable future while implementing sustainable DC microgrids are also highlighted. Finally, this paper encapsulates renewable energy fed DC microgrid system as an appropriate, technically feasible, economically viable, and competent solution for efficiently utilising the sustainable energy sources. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.