The power industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by the drive for greater efficiency and productivity and a lower environmental impact, with the growing importance of technologies such as enhanced geothermal systems (EGS), dry steam, flash steam, and binary cycle. 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: Geothermal collectors.

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

Geothermal collectors is a key innovation area in environmental sustainability

Geothermal collectors are devices that collect heat from the earth's surface and transfer it to a heat exchanger.

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 geothermal collectors.

Key players in geothermal collectors – 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 geothermal collectors

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Eavor Technologies 59 Unlock company profile
Halliburton 30 Unlock company profile
Obayashi 17 Unlock company profile
Welltec 14 Unlock company profile
Kansai Electric Power 12 Unlock company profile
REHAU 11 Unlock company profile
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries 10 Unlock company profile
Vinci 10 Unlock company profile
HyperSciences 9 Unlock company profile
Geosource Energy 9 Unlock company profile
Greenfield Energy 9 Unlock company profile
Jansen 7 Unlock company profile
Fuji Electric 7 Unlock company profile
Quantitative Heat 6 Unlock company profile
POSCO Holdings 6 Unlock company profile
Earth To Air Systems 6 Unlock company profile
Saudi Arabian Oil 5 Unlock company profile
Gtherm 5 Unlock company profile
Daelim Industrial 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Eavor Technologies is one of the leading patent filers in geothermal collectors. Eavor’s solution (Eavor-Loop™) represents the world’s first truly scalable form of clean, baseload and dispatchable power.

In terms of application diversity, Halliburton filed the highest number of patents. Halliburton’s portfolio of geothermal products and services range from the highest temperature directional drilling tools and production logs to high temperature, non-Portland cement systems.

The other companies include Geosource Energy, GTherm and Welltec.

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.