The power industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, with the growing importance of technologies such as adsorption, membrane separation, amine scrubbing and chemical scrubbing. In the last three years alone, there have been over 439,000 patents filed and granted in the power industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Environment Sustainability in Power: Gas reactor CO2 capturing.

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 stabilising 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.

90+ 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 83,000 patents, there are 90+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, smart lighting system, PCM thermal energy storage, and solid electrolyte fuel cell membrane are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Ceramic oxide nuclear fuel, geothermal heat pumps, and hybrid PV plants are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are combined-cycle gas turbines and ethylene co-polymer PV modules, which are now well established in the industry. 

Innovation S-curve for environmental sustainability in the power industry

Gas reactor CO2 capturing is a key innovation area in environmental sustainability

The gas reactor CO2 capturing system is a process that removes carbon dioxide (CO2) from a gas stream, such as flue gas from a power plant. The process uses a chemical reaction to convert the CO2 into a solid, which can then be removed from the gas stream.

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 10+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established power companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of gas reactor CO2 capturing.

Key players in gas reactor CO2 capturing – a disruptive innovation in the power industry

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

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

Patent volumes related to gas reactor CO2 capturing

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
FuelCell Energy 38 Unlock company profile
Renaissance Energy Investment 35 Unlock company profile
Ecoloop 21 Unlock company profile
ZEG Power 18 Unlock company profile
ThyssenKrupp 15 Unlock company profile
Korea Electric Power 14 Unlock company profile
Hitachi 10 Unlock company profile
8 Rivers Capital 10 Unlock company profile
Shell 9 Unlock company profile
Fluor 8 Unlock company profile
Wormser Energy Solutions 7 Unlock company profile
Iogen 6 Unlock company profile
Saudi Arabian Oil 6 Unlock company profile
Hitachi Zosen 6 Unlock company profile
Osaka Gas 6 Unlock company profile
Halliburton 5 Unlock company profile
Nederlandse Organisatie voor Toegepast-Natuurwetenschappelijk Onderzoek 5 Unlock company profile
Global Gateways Lux HoldCo 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Fuel Cell Energy is one of the leading patent filers in carbon capture systems. It has developed an application where the electrochemical stacks used for power generation are used to separate CO2 from the exhaust of natural gas or coal-fired systems.

In geographic reach, Ecoloop held the top position, followed by ZEG Power and Hitachi.

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


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.