Salinity gradient power (SGP) has been identified as a promising renewable energy source. Reverse electrodialysis (RED) and pressure retarded osmosis (PRO) are two membrane-based technologies for SGP harvesting. Developing nanopores and nanofluidic membranes with excellent water and/or ion transport properties for applications in those two membrane-based technologies is considered viable for improving power generation performance. Despite recent efforts to advance power generation by designing a variety of nanopores and nanofluidic membranes to enhance power density, the valid pathways toward large-scale power generation remain uncertain. In this review, we introduce the features of ion and water transport in nanofluidics that are potentially beneficial to power generation. Subsequently, we survey previous efforts on nanofluidic membrane synthesis to obtain high power density. We also discuss how the various membrane properties influence the power density in RED and PRO before moving on to other important aspects of the technologies, i.e., system energy efficiency and membrane fouling. We analyze the importance of system energy efficiency and illustrate how the delicately designed nanofluidic membranes can potentially enhance energy efficiency. Previous studies are reviewed on fabricating antifouling and antimicrobial membrane for power generation, and opportunities are presented that can lead to the design of nanofluidic membranes with superior antifouling properties using various materials. Finally, future research directions are presented on advancing membrane performance and scaling-up the system. We conclude this review by emphasizing the fact that SGP has the potential to become an important renewable energy source and that high-performance nanofluidic membranes can transform SGP harvesting from conceptual to large-scale applications.