The European Patent Office (EPO) has published a study jointly with the International Energy Agency (IEA) on hydrogen innovations.
The report, titled “Hydrogen patents for a clean energy future”, uses data based on international patent families (IPFs) to provide a comprehensive, up-to-date overview of the evolving hydrogen technology landscape.
The key findings of the new study include the following:
Innovation in hydrogen is shifting towards low-emission solutions, with Europe and Japan in the lead and the United States losing ground. Europe is gaining an edge over its competitors in electrolyser manufacturing capacity.
Germany (11%), France (6%) and the Netherlands (3%) rank first in Europe for patenting hydrogen technologies. After Germany, France and the Netherlands, the European top 10 is rounded out by the UK, Switzerland, Denmark, Italy, Austria, Finland and Belgium.
Among end-use applications, the automotive sector continues to be the biggest focus of innovators. Other applications, such as long-distance transport, power generation and heavy industry, need to ramp up.
Start-ups holding patents related to hydrogen technology attracted more than half of the nearly EUR 10 billion in venture capital investments into hydrogen-related firms in the last decade.