The power industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by the need for more sustainable energy sources and a reduction in reliance on fossil fuels, and growing importance of technologies such as solar energy, electric vehicles (EVs) and related 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 Environment Sustainability in Power: Solar-powered charging stations. Buy the report here.

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

Solar-powered charging stations is a key innovation area in environmental sustainability

Solar-powered charging stations are the most reliable way to charge any electric car with solar energy, which ensures enough charge to the owner of the electric vehicle until he/she reaches home and fully recharges the electric vehicle.

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 90+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established power companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of solar-powered charging stations.

Key players in solar-powered charging stations – 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 solar-powered charging stations

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Toyota Motor Corp 33 Unlock company profile
Kia Corp 22 Unlock company profile
Hyundai Motor Co 22 Unlock company profile
Panasonic Holdings Corp 20 Unlock company profile
Honda Motor Co Ltd 19 Unlock company profile
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd 17 Unlock company profile
Mitsubishi Electric Corp 17 Unlock company profile
WiTricity Corporation 16 Unlock company profile
Beam Global 16 Unlock company profile
Kyocera Corp 16 Unlock company profile
State Grid Corporation of China 15 Unlock company profile
Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co Ltd 12 Unlock company profile
Porsche Automobil Holding SE 12 Unlock company profile
Denso Corp 11 Unlock company profile
Sony Group Corp 11 Unlock company profile
Sofibol SCA 11 Unlock company profile
Schneider Electric SE 10 Unlock company profile
Bitron industrie S.p.A. 9 Unlock company profile
Hitachi Ltd 9 Unlock company profile
Fronius International GmbH 9 Unlock company profile
Wobben Properties Gmbh 9 Unlock company profile
MicroLink Devices, Inc. 8 Unlock company profile
Oracle Corp 8 Unlock company profile
Dcbel Inc 7 Unlock company profile
ROHM Co Ltd 7 Unlock company profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH 6 Unlock company profile
Sekisui House Ltd 6 Unlock company profile
Flex Power Control Inc 6 Unlock company profile
Tesla Inc 6 Unlock company profile
Positec Power Tools (Suzhou) Co., Ltd. 6 Unlock company profile
Leopold Kostal GmbH & Co KG 6 Unlock company profile
IoTecha Corp 6 Unlock company profile
Jiaxing Zhixing Internet of Things Technology Co., Ltd. 6 Unlock company profile
Gandini Holding SpA 6 Unlock company profile
Murata Manufacturing Co Ltd 5 Unlock company profile
AMETEK Inc 4 Unlock company profile
Ford Motor Co 4 Unlock company profile
Nio Inc 4 Unlock company profile
China Southern Power Grid Co Ltd 4 Unlock company profile
MITSUBA Corporation 4 Unlock company profile
Manufacturing Resources International, Llc 4 Unlock company profile
Beghelli SpA 3 Unlock company profile
Mitsubishi Heavy Ind Parking 3 Unlock company profile
Lear Corp 3 Unlock company profile
TCL Technology Group Corp 3 Unlock company profile
Hanergy Holding Group Ltd 3 Unlock company profile
Paragon GmbH & Co KGaA 3 Unlock company profile
S&C Electric Co 3 Unlock company profile
Ojjo Inc 3 Unlock company profile
Jinling Inst Technology 3 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Toyota Motor, Hyundai Motor, Kia, Hitachi, and Delta are among the key patent filers in electric vehicle charging systems. Hitachi announced a sustainable mobility partnership with Clever to ensure Denmark's EV adoption is powered by 24/7 renewable electricity with advanced energy management and optimization solutions, underpinned with industrial-scale energy storage. Delta recently announced its new EV charging management system, DeltaGrid® EVM, an innovative platform featuring artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities and seamless integration with energy infrastructure (solar energy and energy storage).

Other key patent filers in the EV charging industry include Panasonic and Honda Motor.

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.