Table 6-13
USPTO patents granted in clean energy and pollution control technologies, by selected area: Selected years, 1995–2010
 
Technology area 1995 2000 2005 2008 2010
 
All clean energy and pollution control technologies 2,991 3,641 3,533 3,688 6,145
Alternative energy 825 1,154 1,482 1,606 2,993
Bioenergy 43 71 60 100 222
Electric and hybrid vehicles 129 247 365 377 532
Fuel cells 104 219 518 534 1,031
Geothermal 23 21 19 29 41
Hydropower 24 32 30 43 72
Nuclear 263 144 127 83 120
Solar 210 377 244 238 651
Wind 28 55 137 197 355
Energy storage 227 476 461 526 980
Batteries 124 285 224 235 547
Hydrogen production and storage 54 114 161 193 278
Ultracapacitors 24 52 61 83 131
All others 28 37 34 27 41
Smart grid 295 277 288 385 528
Pollution mitigation 1,717 1,864 1,456 1,321 1,887
Air 701 835 819 719 1,076
Capture and storage of carbon and other greenhouse gases 41 71 72 74 152
Cleaner coal 64 72 60 54 158
Environmental remediation 160 140 76 78 89
Recycling 327 322 170 120 186
Solid waste 304 235 137 116 129
Water 301 385 274 281 319
 

USPTO = U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

NOTES: Clean energy and pollution control technologies include alternative energy, energy storage, smart grid, and pollution mitigation. Alternative energy includes solar, wind, nuclear, bioenergy, hydropower, wave/tidal/ocean, geothermal, and electric/hybrid. Pollution mitigation includes recycling; control of air, water, and solid waste pollution; environmental remediation; cleaner coal; and capture and storage of carbon and other greenhouse gasses. Energy storage includes batteries, compressed air, flywheels, superconductivity, magnet energy systems, ultracapacitors, hydrogen production and storage, and thermal energy. Technologies classified by The Patent Board™. Sum of individual technologies may exceed broad areas and sum of broad categories may exceed total because some patents are assigned to multiple individual technologies or broad areas.

SOURCE: The Patent Board™, special tabulations (2011) of Proprietary Patent database. See appendix tables 6-66–6-84.

Science and Engineering Indicators 2012