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The power industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by increasing energy demand, need for energy efficiency, and growing importance of technologies such as artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and digitization. In the last three years alone, there have been over 656,000 patents filed and granted in the power industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Internet of Things in power: autonomous microgridsBuy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 70,000 patents to analyze innovation intensity for the power industry, there are 40+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Autonomous microgrids is a key innovation area in Internet of Things

Autonomous microgrids refer to an independent localized grid capable of generating, storing and distributing electricity autonomously. These microgrids primarily operate on renewable sources of energy such as solar, wind, and hydro to power its energy demands, with some relying on traditional power sources as well. A key feature of a microgrid is the ability to separate and isolate itself from the utility during a disturbance with little or no disruption. Microgrids integrate energy storage and dispatch technologies to ensure reliable and efficient electricity distribution, even in the event of a power outage or disruption in the main grid.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 110+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established power companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of autonomous microgrids.

Key players in autonomous microgrids – a disruptive innovation in the power industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.   

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.  

Patent volumes related to autonomous microgrids

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Panasonic Holdings Corp 82 Unlock Company Profile
Toshiba Corp 69 Unlock Company Profile
Wobben Properties Gmbh 51 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group Corp 49 Unlock Company Profile
Kyocera Corp 46 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Electric Corp 42 Unlock Company Profile
Sekisui Chemical Co Ltd 35 Unlock Company Profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH 31 Unlock Company Profile
Johnson Controls International Plc 29 Unlock Company Profile
State Grid Corporation of China 26 Unlock Company Profile
General Electric Co 24 Unlock Company Profile
Sunverge Energy Inc 21 Unlock Company Profile
Paloma Industries Ltd. 20 Unlock Company Profile
Gree Electric Appliances Inc of Zhuhai 18 Unlock Company Profile
AMETEK Inc 17 Unlock Company Profile
LG Corp 16 Unlock Company Profile
Siemens AG 16 Unlock Company Profile
Sofibol SCA 14 Unlock Company Profile
Murata Manufacturing Co Ltd 13 Unlock Company Profile
A.T. Kearney Inc 12 Unlock Company Profile
Denso Corp 12 Unlock Company Profile
E.ON SE 12 Unlock Company Profile
Tesla Inc 12 Unlock Company Profile
Lt Lighting Taiwan Corp 12 Unlock Company Profile
Willdan Group Inc 11 Unlock Company Profile
South East Water Corporation 11 Unlock Company Profile
Enphase Energy Inc 10 Unlock Company Profile
Tokitae LLC 10 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi Ltd 10 Unlock Company Profile
Smardt Chiller Group Inc. 10 Unlock Company Profile
Asahi Kasei Corp 9 Unlock Company Profile
ThyssenKrupp AG 9 Unlock Company Profile
BASF SE 9 Unlock Company Profile
IKS Co Ltd 9 Unlock Company Profile
Zeon Corp 9 Unlock Company Profile
Greensleeves LLC 8 Unlock Company Profile
Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd 8 Unlock Company Profile
The Chugoku Electric Power Co Inc 8 Unlock Company Profile
HPS Home Power Solutions GmbH 8 Unlock Company Profile
Honda Motor Co Ltd 8 Unlock Company Profile
Eaton Corporation Plc 8 Unlock Company Profile
Omron Tateisi Electronics Co 8 Unlock Company Profile
Acciona SA 7 Unlock Company Profile
NantEnergy Inc 6 Unlock Company Profile
Twenty First Century Utilities, LLC 6 Unlock Company Profile
Orison 6 Unlock Company Profile
Electricite de France SA 5 Unlock Company Profile
Beijing Sifang Automation Co Ltd 5 Unlock Company Profile
Korea Electric Power Corp 5 Unlock Company Profile
Chung-Hsin Electric and Machinery Manufacturing Corp 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Panasonic is one of the leading patent filers in autonomous microgrids. Panasonic develops, engineers, manufactures and commercializes diverse electronic technologies and products in the areas of home appliances and domestic equipment, equipment and systems for manufacturing, batteries and electronic components for mobility and social infrastructure. Some other key patent filers in the autonomous microgrid space include Toshiba, Wobben Properties, and Sony Group.

In terms of application diversity, EnBW Energie Baden-Wurttemberg, Ford Motor, and Vestas Wind Systems are the leading patent filers. By means of geographic reach, Sunverge Energy held the top position, followed by Paloma Industries and Wobben Properties.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the power industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Internet of Things in Power (2021).

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.