EPO publishes new policy brief on climate technologies and enhances cooperation with IRENA

3 July 2017

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In co-operation with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the EPO has today published a new policy brief on the latest trends in climate change mitigation technologies (CCMTs). The study provides evidence on the dissemination of CCMTs, with a focus on renewable energy technologies and reveals that inventive activity in CCMTs has been increasing globally over the past decade.

The policy brief has been made available to encourage an informed debate on climate change mitigation technologies, with findings based on the most recent data sources available. The majority of the statistics draw upon patent information which is in the public domain, made freely accessible by the EPO and represents a solid and powerful indicator of technological and economic developments in CCMTs.

The brief highlights six key messages for decision-makers:

  • The number and commercial value of CCMT inventions are growing globally
  • Most inventions are made in the energy sector, with renewables driving the growth
  • The integration of ICTs into renewable energy technologies remains a key challenge
  • Climate policy is a main driver of innovation in CCMTs
  • Inventive activity in CCMTs is mainly concentrated in a few regions of the world but diversity of inventor countries is growing
  • Patents support the deployment of CCMTs

The publication of the policy brief follows the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the EPO and IRENA by the EPO President and by IRENA Director General Adnan Z. Amin on 23 April with the aim of enhancing the co-operation between the two bodies Under the three year agreement, the EPO and IRENA will work together to develop further evidence-based research on the innovation and dissemination of renewable energy technologies.

"Supported by patents, innovation in the renewable energy technologies sector has contributed to dramatic cost reductions and rapid technology deployment," said EPO President Benoît Battistelli. "With this policy brief and through our cooperation with IRENA, the EPO promotes the use of patent information to enhance structural transparency regarding climate change mitigation technologies."

IRENA Director General Adnan Z. Amin said, "innovation in renewable energy is playing a critical role in driving the energy transition. Tracking innovation with comprehensive and reliable patent information is essential for analysing trends and identifying priority areas of action for innovation. IRENA's cooperation with EPO contributes to a better understanding of renewable energy market needs and where innovative technologies can potentially be scaled-up to accelerate the global energy transition."

The EPO and IRENA have been cooperating since 2015, when IRENA launched the International Standards and Patents in Renewable Energy platform, also known as INSPIRE. This platform enables users to search patent information delivering reports on patent trends for different renewable energy technologies by country or patent applicant. INSPIRE uses the EPO's PATSTAT data and the Y02 classification, which is the most detailed renewable energy categorisation available in patents.

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