The EU (28 percent) and Japan (24 percent) are leading in hydrogen-related patents. In Europe, Germany (11 percent), France (6 percent), and the Netherlands (3 percent) are at the forefront of hydrogen technology patenting. Furthermore, Europe is ahead in terms of production capacity for electrolyzers. This was found by a new joint study by the European Patent Office (EPO) and the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Why we write about this topic:

Hydrogen is an important source for renewable energy

“The potential of hydrogen to be harnessed is a key part of the European strategy to achieve climate neutrality by 2050,” said EPO President António Campinos. “However, innovations are still urgently needed in a range of technologies if hydrogen is to play a major role in reducing CO2 emissions and tackling climate change. 

The US (20 percent), which has traditionally been a major innovator, has lost ground in the past decade. International patent activity in hydrogen technologies from South Korea and China remain at a lower level, but show an upward trend.

The report shows that there are encouraging patterns of change across countries and industries towards this transformation. Europe is now making a significant contribution to the development of new hydrogen technologies. It also highlights the contribution of start-ups to hydrogen innovation, which rely on patents to bring their inventions to market. In the past decade, start-ups with patents received more than half of the $10 billion in venture capital investments in hydrogen technology companies.

In terms of end-use applications, innovations continue to focus on the automotive industry, while other sectors such as long-distance transportation, power generation, and heavy industry require further development.

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