A rise in ‘Green’ energy patents filed
‘Green’ energy patents filed globally jump 28% in a year as pace of innovation accelerates
The number of renewable energy patents filed worldwide jumped 28% to 20,905* in 2018/19, up from 16,287 the previous year.
Our research analyses patents filed for solar power, wind energy, biofuels, hydropower, geothermal energy and waste-generated energy. The solar power sector was found to attract the most patent filings, accounting for 57% of the total ‘green’ energy patents in 2018/19.
The increased concerns over climate change are accelerating this research and investment in renewable energy and driving the global growth in patent filing.
"As more countries set “net zero” carbon emissions targets, demand for ‘green energy’ is set to continue to rise."
The UK is already halfway to its 2050 emissions target, as more electricity came from clean sources than fossil fuels for the first time in 2019. Fossil fuels accounted for 43%** of the energy used by the UK National Grid last year, whilst 57% came from renewable energy.
Renewable energy investments are now also more financially viable as the cost of renewable energy production falls, incentivising companies to invest more into innovation and R&D in the sector.
Companies in China filed 81% (16,992) of the renewable energy patents in 2018/19, the most of any country, while the US came in second, filing 8% (1,613) and the UK sixth (84). Fuelled in part by generous Government subsidies, China has been the largest investor in renewable energy over the last decade, invested $758 billion, over double the US’s $356 billion.
As the global demand for renewable energy gathers pace, businesses are increasingly incentivised to invest in R&D. With incremental technological advances being made all the time, renewable energy is becoming more efficient and competitive when compared with fossil fuel alternatives. Technological innovation in the renewable energy sector has been boosted by the huge investment in R&D made by big oil and gas companies.
"Businesses are looking to steal a march on competitors by investing in and patenting products in what is an increasingly innovative renewables sector."
*Analysis of figures from the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) - year end 31 March
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