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Green Energy Patents jump 43% in a year

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Green Energy Patents jump 43% in a year

Green Energy Patents jump 43% in a year

Over 14,800 renewable energy patents were filed globally in 2017*, rising 43% from 10,500 in the previous year as innovation in the area races ahead.

Patents filed for solar power, wind energy, biofuels, hydropower, geothermal energy and waste-generated energy have almost doubled over the last five years, up from 7,700 in 2013. 56% of the total ‘green’ energy patents filed in 2017 were for solar power.

‘Green’ energy products are increasingly being patented as the cost of renewable energy production falls, incentivising companies to invest more into innovation and R&D in this sector. The renewable energy industry is becoming more profitable, and is now less reliant on government subsidies.

Companies in China filed 76% (11,300) of the renewable energy patents in 2017, the most of any country, while the US, in second place, filed 10% (1,500). China is currently the biggest manufacturer of solar panel technology, and invested more than $44 billion in clean-energy projects in 2017**.

Number of ‘green’ energy patents filed by country in 2017

James Geary, Principal in our Commercial team says: “The rising profitability of ‘green’ energy has prompted many companies to invest in developing and patenting filings as innovation races ahead.”

“International efforts to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and cut carbon emissions by focusing on renewables has continued to grow. China, for example, set emissions limits in 2017 for power companies’ use of fossil fuels, as part of efforts to slow down their consumption of coal, gas and oil.”

“As a result, more companies globally are now increasingly incentivised to invest in R&D. In addition, many companies are also now enthusiastic to highlight their ‘green’ credentials in response to growing public and consumer awareness of environmental concerns.”

“However, there are concerns that the US could see a drop in patenting ‘green’ products as the Trump administration looks to cut government research spending in the industry.”

“The slight rise may also be in part due to concerns about the effect that Brexit may have on the proposed European Unitary Patent system. Some businesses may be racing to patent products, to avoid potential difficulties if obtaining patents in EU countries become more difficult than is currently the case.”

Green energy patents filed hit 14,847 as innovation in the sector accelerates

Breakdown of “green” energy patents shows that 8,442 solar energy patents were filed in 2017. 

For more information on this article, please contact James Geary, or you can give us a call on 0345 070 6000.