Renewable energy is more affordable now than it has ever been. According to BloombergNEF, it is now cheaper to build a new solar or wind farm to meet rising electricity demand or replace a retiring generator, than it is to build a new fossil fuel-fired plant. Policy incentives, increased investment and technological advances are driving this strong growth in the renewables sector, leading to technological improvements in the structural hardware necessary for renewable energy generation, transmission and storage.
As awareness of the devastating consequences of climate change grows, technology that harnesses renewable energy has seen significant investment in recent years. Wind energy is no exception. With increased investment, there comes a need for protection by way of patents. Patents are typically filed at an early stage of development, due to the requirement for the technology they cover to be new and inventive. This in turn means that patent filing statistics can provide a good insight into where R&D is being carried out, and into potential future technologies. In this article we ask, what areas are the core technologies where patent filings are being made, where are these filings being made, and who is filing them?