The power industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by need to reduce energy consumption and implement efficient energy management systems, and growing importance of technologies such as smart infrastructure and energy-efficient lighting solutions. In the last three years alone, there have been over 439,000 patents filed and granted in the power industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Environment Sustainability in Power: Smart lighting system.

However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilising and reaching maturity.

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.

90+ innovations will shape the power industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the power industry using innovation intensity models built on over 83,000 patents, there are 90+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, smart lighting system, PCM Thermal Energy Storage and solid electrolyte fuel cell membrane are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Ceramic oxide nuclear fuel, geothermal heat pumps, and hybrid PV plants are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are combined cycle gas turbines and ethylene co-polymer PV modules, which are now well established in the industry. 

Innovation S-curve for environmental sustainability in the power industry

Smart lighting system is a key innovation area in environmental sustainability

Smart lighting systems include a lighting management system consisting of luminary sensors, wireless and automated controls serving customers based on the information available, and communication technologies.

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 10+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established power companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of smart lighting system.

Key players in smart lighting system – a disruptive innovation in the power industry

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

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

Lutron Electronics is the global leader in lighting control and automated shading solutions. Its innovations have resulted in numerous patents and a wide range of product offerings across the world. Caseta wireless offered by Lutron is the industry’s most connected smart lighting control system. It recently introduced new products Diva smart dimmer and Claro smart switch to its Caseta portfolio.

Signify is the global leader in connected, LED and conventional lighting. It has a broad product portfolio and a presence in over 70 countries. Its flagship professional connected lighting software Interact enables consumers to benefit from edge technologies, big data processing and analytics, and machine learning. Recently, Signify and Upciti, an expert in artificial intelligence and edge computing, announced their intent to partner to transform cities and utilities across the United States and Canada.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the power industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Power.

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.