The power industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by land shortage, increasing wind power generation due to rapid urbanization, acceleration of sustainable and eco-friendly electricity source, flexibility for relocation, and the growing importance of technologies such as ballast-stabilized, tension-leg or mooring-line stabilized, and buoyancy-stabilized. 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 Environmental sustainability in power: floating platform wind turbines. 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 70,000 patents, there are 40+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, solar-powered charging stations, wind turbine performance monitoring, and renewable energy storage are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Foldable solar panels, solar thermal collectors, and geothermal collectors are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are wave energy converters and solar cell protective films, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for environmental sustainability in the power industry

Floating platform wind turbines is a key innovation area in environmental sustainability

A floating wind turbine is an offshore wind turbine which is installed on a floating structure in water body which generates electricity in water depths where fixed-foundation turbines are not viable.

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 120 companies, spanning technology vendors, established power companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of floating platform wind turbines.

Key players in floating platform wind turbines – 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 floating platform wind turbines

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Repsol 129 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries 74 Unlock Company Profile
Naval Group 59 Unlock Company Profile
Siemens 37 Unlock Company Profile
Vestas Wind Systems 34 Unlock Company Profile
Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology 32 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 28 Unlock Company Profile
Aker Solutions 26 Unlock Company Profile
Modec 26 Unlock Company Profile
IFP Energies nouvelles 20 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsui E&S 20 Unlock Company Profile
Nippon Steel 20 Unlock Company Profile
General Electric 19 Unlock Company Profile
Natural Power Concepts 19 Unlock Company Profile
Japan Marine United 19 Unlock Company Profile
Aerodyn Engineering 18 Unlock Company Profile
X Development 18 Unlock Company Profile
NOV 17 Unlock Company Profile
Xiangtan Electric Manufacturing 16 Unlock Company Profile
Dietswell 16 Unlock Company Profile
Single Buoy Moorings 16 Unlock Company Profile
Toda 16 Unlock Company Profile
Esteyco SAP 16 Unlock Company Profile
Equinor 15 Unlock Company Profile
Marine Power Systems 14 Unlock Company Profile
Nautilus Floating Solutions 12 Unlock Company Profile
DORIS Engineering 12 Unlock Company Profile
HD Hyundai 12 Unlock Company Profile
SeaTwirl 12 Unlock Company Profile
Hexicon 11 Unlock Company Profile
EnerOcean 11 Unlock Company Profile
Vinci 11 Unlock Company Profile
Makani Technologies 10 Unlock Company Profile
Subsea 7 8 Unlock Company Profile
Nakashima Propeller 8 Unlock Company Profile
Floating Windfarms 8 Unlock Company Profile
STRABAG 7 Unlock Company Profile
Axis Energy Projects 7 Unlock Company Profile
Pelagic Power 7 Unlock Company Profile
Milco 7 Unlock Company Profile
Strabag Offshore Wind 7 Unlock Company Profile
TechnipFMC 6 Unlock Company Profile
A.P. Moller - Maersk 6 Unlock Company Profile
Saipem 6 Unlock Company Profile
Power Construction Corporation of China 6 Unlock Company Profile
Heerema International Group Services 6 Unlock Company Profile
RWE 6 Unlock Company Profile
Korea Electric Power 5 Unlock Company Profile
ITI Scotland 5 Unlock Company Profile
Esteyco Energia 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Repsol is the leading patent filer in floating wind turbines. Repsol and Ørsted signed an agreement to explore joint development of floating offshore wind projects in Spain. This alliance combines Repsol’s expertise as global multi-energy provider and Ørsted's experience as the global leader in offshore wind.

In terms of application diversity, Eco Green Energy Group leads the pack. Some other key patent filers in the wind turbine industry include China Shipbuilding Industry, ABB, and Technicka Univerzita V Kosiciach. By means of geographic reach, Repsol holds the top position, followed by Aker Solutions and Natural Power Concepts.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the power industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) in 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.