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Hydrogen Innovation Going Green – IEA

Hydrogen technology development has started to shift towards low-emissions solutions such as electrolysis, according to a first of its kind report. The joint study of hydrogen patents by the European Patent Office (EPO) and the International Energy Agency (IEA) used patent data to provide analysis of innovation in all hydrogen technologies, including hydrogen supply to storage, distribution and transformation, and end-use applications. The report showed that global hydrogen patenting was led by the European Union and Japan, accounting for 28% and 24% of international patent families respectively from 2011 to 2020. Hydrogen production technologies accounted for the largest number of hydrogen patents over this period, with an 80% rise in patents being “driven chiefly” by the rapid increase of electrolysis innovation. The report also found that over half of the US$10 billion of venture capital investment into hydrogen firms during the period went to start-ups with patents, despite them making up less than a third of the start-ups in the report’s data set. António Campinos, President of the EPO, said: “If hydrogen is to play a major role in reducing CO2 emissions, innovation is urgently needed across a range of technologies. This report reveals some encouraging transition patterns across countries and industry sectors, including Europe’s major contribution to the emergence of new hydrogen technologies.” 

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