The power industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by improved operational efficiency, and enhanced productivity, and growing importance of technologies such as smart grids, smart meters and advanced metering infrastructure. In the last three years alone, there have been over 656,000 patents filed and granted in the power industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in power: prepaid electricity metering. Buy the report here.

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However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilizing and reaching maturity.

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.

40+ innovations will shape the power industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the power industry using innovation intensity models built on over 77,000 patents, there are 40+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, variable speed gas turbines is disruptive technology that is in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Perovskite photoactive layering, power distribution control system, and CAES gas turbine are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are geothermal heat pumps and prepaid electricity metering, which are now well established in the industry. 

Innovation S-curve for the power industry

Prepaid electricity metering is a key innovation area in artificial intelligence

Prepaid electricity metering enables consumers to pay for their electricity in advance by keeping a track of the power consumed. Prepaid metering minimizes the gap between the cost of power supply and the revenue generated.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies.  According to GlobalData, there are 60+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established power companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of prepaid electricity metering.

Key players in prepaid electricity metering – a disruptive innovation in the power industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.

Patent volumes related to prepaid electricity metering

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Gogoro, Inc. 93 Unlock Company Profile
Causam Energy, Inc. 82 Unlock Company Profile
The AES Corp 39 Unlock Company Profile
Shell plc 37 Unlock Company Profile
Honda Motor Co Ltd 34 Unlock Company Profile
Chargepoint Pty Ltd 31 Unlock Company Profile
Emerging Automotive, LLC 31 Unlock Company Profile
General Electric Co 30 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic Holdings Corp 27 Unlock Company Profile
Porsche Automobil Holding SE 23 Unlock Company Profile
Toyota Motor Corp 21 Unlock Company Profile
Siemens AG 19 Unlock Company Profile
Kapsch TrafficCom AG 17 Unlock Company Profile
Shenzhen Deren Electronic Co Ltd 16 Unlock Company Profile
Cpi Integration Holdings Inc 16 Unlock Company Profile
Sun Electric Pte Ltd 13 Unlock Company Profile
NEC Corp 12 Unlock Company Profile
Meditor European Master Fund Limited 11 Unlock Company Profile
ChargePoint Holdings Inc 11 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Motors Corporation 10 Unlock Company Profile
CEZ, AS 9 Unlock Company Profile
SK Inc 9 Unlock Company Profile
Nissan Motor Co Ltd 9 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd 9 Unlock Company Profile
Chubu Electric Power Co Inc 8 Unlock Company Profile
Liberty PlugIns, Inc. 7 Unlock Company Profile
Atos SE 7 Unlock Company Profile
Tanktwo 7 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi Ltd 7 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Corp 6 Unlock Company Profile
Nio Inc 6 Unlock Company Profile
Global Foundries Inc 5 Unlock Company Profile
Doosan Corp 5 Unlock Company Profile
Blink Acquisition LLC 5 Unlock Company Profile
Thunder Power Hong Kong Limited 4 Unlock Company Profile
Inventus Holdings, LLC 4 Unlock Company Profile
Langmatz GmbH 4 Unlock Company Profile
Toshiba Corp 4 Unlock Company Profile
Georg Fischer AG 3 Unlock Company Profile
AeroVironment Inc 3 Unlock Company Profile
International Business Machines Corp 3 Unlock Company Profile
b8ta Inc 3 Unlock Company Profile
SoftBank Group Corp 3 Unlock Company Profile
Schneider Electric SE 2 Unlock Company Profile
Elaphe Propulsion Technologies Ltd 2 Unlock Company Profile
ZF Friedrichshafen AG 2 Unlock Company Profile
Verizon Patent And Licensing, Inc. 2 Unlock Company Profile
Midcap Finco Designated Activity Company, 2 Unlock Company Profile
Neutron Holdings Inc 2 Unlock Company Profile
SMA Solar Technology AG 2 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Gogoro, Causam Energy, AES, ChargePoint, and Siemens are among the leading patent filers for prepaid electricity metering.

Siemens EnergyIP Prepay is a comprehensive energy payment solution and a smart way to energy efficiency. It enables flexible tariff models, reduces operating costs, and gives customers the freedom to recharge their account anytime. Siemens also partnered with Tata Power Delhi Distribution for deployment of smart metering technology for over 2,00,000 smart metres in Delhi, India. The Energy IP Meter Data Management System installed and commissioned by Siemens enables timely and accurate collection of electricity meter data.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the power industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Power.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.