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.
As climate change and the energy transition drive fundamental shifts in technology, industry, investment and regulatory policy, innovation and technology have never played a more important role. In this article, we discuss how climate change and the energy transition are driving these shifts, the technologies needed to meet net-zero and how this is reflected by patent filings in renewable energy field. We gather the perspectives of leaders and decision makers in the fields of energy, technology, business and government, presenting at the recent CERAWeek 2021 conference.
Transmitting solar energy generated in space back to Earth has long been the subject of science fiction, first appearing in Isaac Asimov’s 1941 short story, Reason, where solar energy is converted to microwaves by a space station, and beamed back to nearby planets.
On International Women’s Day, Georgina Ainscow, Olivia Buckingham and Xiaoxi Zhu attended Innovate UK and KTN’s Women Innovate event. The event was a fantastic celebration of women in innovation, but also carried a message of much more to be done to achieve true diversity and inclusivity. A clear message too, that this can only benefit the economy, with estimates ranging from £180 billion to £250 billion, that could be unlocked by boosting the level of female entrepreneurship.
Patents are, of necessity, filed at an early stage in the development of new technology, which means that patent filing trends can provide good insights today’s R&D and tomorrow’s leading technologies.Climate change targets are a major driver of innovation in today’s world. There is little doubt that innovative solutions are needed across the board if we are to achieve net-zero by 2050, and limit the rise in average global temperate to below 2C, as set out in the Paris Agreement.
The Paris Agreement on climate change entered into force in November 2016, with a goal of limiting global warming to below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius – compared to pre-industrial levels. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), CO2 emissions from aviation in 2019 equated to around 2.8% of global CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion. So, it’s probably no great surprise that there has been much research in recent years on ways to reduce the carbon footprint of the aviation sector.
With Artificial Intelligence becoming increasingly relevant to our daily lives, many inventors are looking to gain patent protection for their technology. As discussed in our previous insight here, there are extra considerations to bear in mind when seeking patent protection for an AI invention in Europe. However AI patent applications can be, and are being, granted at the European Patent Office.
NASA is now asking the People of the World to take the cutting edge of toilets (forgive the phrase) one step further with their “Lunar Loo Challenge”, which launched last week. In doing so, NASA have offered a total of $35,000 in prize money for designs for a toilet that can work both in the microgravity of space as well as the low, but not insignificant, gravity of the lunar surface (which I’m sure you all know to be about a sixth of that on Earth).