The number of renewable energy patents is growing across the world, according to a survey conducted last autumn by two US-based research centres, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Santa Fe Institute (SFI), who have created a database of energy-related patents that were registered in over 100 countries.
The data analysis showed that more than 73,000 patents on energy-related patents across all energy sources were registered in the period 1970-2009, of which almost 41,500 regarded renewable energy. This innovation was seen across in each sector, but particularly in wind and solar power.
The rapid acceleration in renewable energy over the last few years is evident, with the number of patents in the years 2004 to 2009 increasing at an average annual rate of 11.9 percent. Wind power performed particularly well, with an average 19 percent increase, followed by solar power which went up 13 percent.
The electricity industry is undergoing profound change, and as such investment in renewable energy, distributed generation and emissions reductions are crucial. Moreover, this change is now taking place at a much faster rate, and has become so pressing that, in order to compete in the global energy industry, processes and products need to be continuously innovated.
The Enel Group has been committed to research for half a century, taking on ambitious objectives through its network of advanced centres, laboratories and testing areas in Italy and Spain, which are open to expertise and skills from across the countries in which the Group operates.
It's with research and innovation that Enel ensures that the generation and distribution of energy is efficient, environmentally-friendly and competitive. Enel Research is also taking part in the development of new solutions that will pave the way for new business opportunities and offer the right response to the challenges that will arise.