This article is the second in our renewable energy patent tracker series. The first, published early March 2021, compared patent trends for renewable energy generation technology from 2016 to 2020 with data from the first two months of this year. Using the Y02 classification scheme developed by the EPO for labelling climate change mitigation technologies, we compared the number of publications in different renewable energy fields (solar PV, solar thermal, wind, geothermal, hydro and from the sea) and ranked the biggest patent filers in these areas. In this instalment, we update our statistics for this year, incorporating data from up until the 19th May, and extend our trend analysis over the ten years leading up to 2021.
Insights: PV Technology
The solar energy industry has seen an extremely rapid development in the past decade. In 2019 alone, we saw over 140 GW of new photovoltaic (PV) power generation capacity installed, leading to the total global PV power generation capacity of 583.5 GW (580.1 GW on-grid and 3.4 GW of off-grid ) at the end of 2019. This means more than one fifth of renewable energy in the world today is generated by PV technology.However, whilst it is only in recent years that we have witnessed a dramatic improvement of the technical and economic feasibilities of PV power generation, it should be remembered that such improvement is an achievement enabled by nearly two centuries of technical and commercial development.