The Cleantech Group has just released its latest quarterly report of new clean energy patents, the Clean Energy Patent Growth Index (CEPGI). It shows that the number of clean energy patents issued in the first quarter of 2010 hit a record high.
379 US patents were granted. Solar energy, fuel cell and hybrid/electric vehicle patents increased in this quarter, while wind and biofuel patents fell a bit.
Fuel cells were up 20 granted patents relative to the fourth quarter at 208 and continue to dominate the other components of the CEPGI in absolute numbers. Granted solar patents (67) topped wind (35) for two straight quarters for the first time since 2005. Solar patents were up 11 compared to the fourth quarter of 2010 and up 37 relative the first quarter of 2009. Wind patents were down 9 relative to the fourth quarter and up 1 compared to a year prior. Hybrid/electric vehicle patents (50) were up 17 from the fourth quarter for a third quarter of gains in a row and up 20 over the first quarter of 2009. Biofuel patents (13) were down 2 from a record high in the fourth quarter and up 3 over a year prior.
Honda surpassed General Motors as the corporation with the most new patents. It had 29 fuel cell patents and 1 solar patent. GM had 28 patents in total, mostly for fuel cells as well, but also 4 for Hybrid/electric vehicles and 3 for solar technology.
Behind them, Samsung had 21 patents (18 for fuel cells, 2 for solar energy, 1 for wind energy); Toyota had 12; Ford 11; Nissan 9; GE 7; Panasonic and Hitachi 6 each; and Toshiba, ISE Corporation, United Technologies, and Hyundai each had 5.
The long-term trend shows a clear increase in clean energy patents, especially in recent years. This all puts continued clean energy development and use in a positive light.
For several graphs of long-term trends for different sectors, regions or clean energy as a whole, visit the CEPGI for the first quarter of 2010.
Image Credit: Raptor Alpha via flickr/CC license
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