The number of patents granted for innovations surrounding renewable energy technologies are on the rise, according to the Clean Energy Patent Growth Index (CEPGI). The index is published quarterly by The Cleantech Group at Heslin Rotherberg Farley & Mesiti P.C. The latest figures show a record number of patents being handed out in the third quarter of 2011.
According to the index, 599 patents were granted in the United States for renewable energy technologies. The index includes patents for the following: Solar, Wind, Hybrid/electric vehicles, Fuel Cells, Hydroelectric, Tidal/wave, Geothermal, Biomass/biofuels and other clean renewable energy. The figures top the previous record set in the fourth quarter of 2010 at 575 granted patents.
Patents for fuel cells were up by 41 in the third quarter, for a total of 246 patents granted. Patents for solar, wind and hybrid/electric vehicle were also at quarterly highs. The 58 hybrid/electrical vehicle patents were at an all-time quarterly high. Solar accounted for a total of 138 patents, wind with 113 and tidal with 20.
General Electric had the most patents granted during the quarter, at 52, the majority, 39, were in the field of wind power. But the company also had two fuel cell patents, 4 hybrid electric vehicle patents, 6 solar patents and one biomass/biofuel patent. General Motors took second place with a total of 32 patents, 28 for fuel cell, 3 for hybrid electric vehicles and 1 for biomass/biofuel patent. Toyota came in third place with 30 cleantech patents, 23 for fuel cells, 6 for hybrid/electric vehicles and one for solar.