Renewable energy patents growing at a rapid paceOctober 16, 2013
Number of renewable energy and clean technology patents is on the rise
The number of patents concerning renewable energy and its associated technologies has been on the rise recently. Over the past ten years, patent filings have spiked, largely due to breakthroughs in technology and an increased focus on renewable energy that many countries have adopted. A new study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Sante Fe Institute aims to shed some insight on this increasingly common trend and highlight the technologies that countries seem to favor within the renewable energy sector.
Japan holds lead in terms of energy patents
According to the study, between 2004 and 2009, the number of patents regarding renewable energy grew significantly. The majority of these patents have to do with either solar or wind energy and their associated technologies. Over the past 10 years, some 5,246 renewable energy patents were filed in the U.S., with 2,063 being filed in China, and an astonishing 7,398 filed in Japan. The study suggests that Japan is home to the most innovative activity when it comes to renewable energy and the development of clean technology.
Countries look toward renewable energy for economic gain
Countries have been working to embrace renewable energy for numerous reasons. Environmentalism often plays a role in this adoption, but most countries have become enthralled with the economic prospects that renewable energy represents. For nations like Japan, who receive the majority of their power through foreign fuel sources, embracing renewable energy means domestic energy production, thus reducing the costs associated with fuel imports. Even Saudi Arabia, which has an abundance of domestic fuel resources, has been showing interest in clean power because of its economic promise.
Investors keep track of patent activity
An increase in renewable energy patents is often linked to increased investment activity. While patents do not necessarily provide any groundbreaking information concerning the state of the energy market, investors often show their support for innovative technologies and projects that are newly patented. Investors do show caution within the energy sector, of course, due to the various barriers that exist between renewable energy and widespread adoption among consumers and businesses.