Clean Energy Patent Growth Index Shows Record High for 2011


The Heslin Rothenberg firm’s Clean Energy Patent Growth Index (CEPGI) 2011 Year in Review was published earlier this month.

The 2011 roundup found that granted green patents were at an all time high of 2331 for last year, a rise of 450 patents, or 24%, over 2010.

Always an interesting read, the CEPGI is quarterly publication that tracks grants of U.S. patents directed to clean energy technologies.

The 2011 CEPGI technology breakdown showed wind patents with the biggest gain, up over 85%, growing from 245 patents in 2010 to 455 last year. Solar patents rose almost 50%, hybrid/electric vehicle patents were up 20%, tidal energy patents rose 50%, and biomass/biofuel patents jumped by 65%.

While fuel cell patents were down 44 patents over 2011, this sector was still the winner in total patent grants with 952. Solar took second place with 541 patents, and wind was third with 455 patents.

There were 203 hybrid/electric vehicle patents granted in 2011, with 104 biomass patents, and 60 tidal energy patents.

The number one green patent holder for 2011 was GE, with 184 patents. Samsung, with 128 patents, took second place, with GM in third place with 127. Toyota and Honda took fourth and fifth place, respectively, with 114 and 79 patents each.

The rest of the top ten green patent holders consisted of Vestas, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Panasonic, and Siemens.

The CEPGI also includes more detailed data broken down by subsector and geography. More info on the CEPGI can be found here.

Eric Lane is a patent attorney at McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP in San Diego and the author of Green Patent Blog. Mr. Lane can be reached at

About Author

Walter’s contributions to CleanTechies over the past 4 years have been instrumental in growing the publications social media channels via his ongoing editorial and data driven strategies. He is the founder and managing director of Sunflower Tax, a renewable energy tax and finance consultancy based in San Diego, California. Active in the San Diego clean technology community, participating in events sponsored by CleanTech San Diego, EcoTopics, and Cleantech Open San Diego, Walter has also been a presenter at numerous California Center for Sustainability (CCSE) programs. He currently serves as an adjunct professor at the University of San Diego School of Law where he teaches a course on energy taxation and policy.

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