The technology industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by the need for sustainable and reliable energy sources, government incentives and policies promoting renewable energy adoption, and advancements in energy storage technologies factors driving innovation in the industry. The growing importance of technologies such as photovoltaic (PV) panels, solar thermal collectors, energy storage systems (such as batteries), power inverters, and intelligent control systems is further driving innovation in the technology industry. These technologies work together to optimise energy production, storage, and utilisation, leading to a more sustainable and efficient use of solar energy. In the last three years alone, there have been over 3.6 million patents filed and granted in the technology industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Technology Innovation: Hybrid solar. Buy the report here.
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.
300+ innovations will shape the technology industry
According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the technology industry using innovation intensity models built on over 2.5 million patents, there are 300+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.
Within the emerging innovation stage, microphone beamforming, live betting games, and quantum dots are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Circuit design testing, smart contracts and surround sound systems are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are vehicle platooning and PCI power management, which are now well established in the industry.
Innovation S-curve for the technology industry
Hybrid solar is a key innovation area in technology
Hybrid solar refers to a solar power system that integrates solar photovoltaic (PV) panels with alternative energy sources such as wind or diesel generators to generate electricity. The objective of hybrid solar systems is to optimise the performance of both sources, ensuring a dependable electricity supply even in regions with restricted or sporadic sunlight availability.
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 30 companies, spanning technology vendors, established technology companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of hybrid solar.
Key players in hybrid solar – a disruptive innovation in the technology 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’.
Patent volumes related to hybrid solar
|Company||Total patents (2010 - 2022)||Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies|
|LG||41||Unlock Company Profile|
|Shadecraft||27||Unlock Company Profile|
|Alphabet||16||Unlock Company Profile|
|Seiko Epson||12||Unlock Company Profile|
|Saildrone||12||Unlock Company Profile|
|Boeing||11||Unlock Company Profile|
|Huawei Investment & Holding||11||Unlock Company Profile|
|Panasonic||10||Unlock Company Profile|
|Tesla||10||Unlock Company Profile|
|Hon Hai Precision Industry||10||Unlock Company Profile|
|pureLiFi||10||Unlock Company Profile|
|Tokitae||9||Unlock Company Profile|
|International Business Machines (IBM)||9||Unlock Company Profile|
|Bishop Ascendant||8||Unlock Company Profile|
|Flex||8||Unlock Company Profile|
|Ecoppia Scientific||8||Unlock Company Profile|
|Angaza Design||8||Unlock Company Profile|
|Walmart||8||Unlock Company Profile|
|Johnson Controls International||7||Unlock Company Profile|
|Quanta Computer||7||Unlock Company Profile|
|Korea Electric Power||6||Unlock Company Profile|
|Positec Power Tools||6||Unlock Company Profile|
|Toyota Motor||6||Unlock Company Profile|
|Beijing Electronics||6||Unlock Company Profile|
|LS Electric||5||Unlock Company Profile|
|Samsung Group||5||Unlock Company Profile|
|Rothermere Continuation||5||Unlock Company Profile|
|Nokia||5||Unlock Company Profile|
|Shade Craft||5||Unlock Company Profile|
|Beijing Hanergy Photovoltaic Investment||5||Unlock Company Profile|
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Among the companies innovating in hybrid solar, LG is a leading patent filer. The company’s patents are aimed at invention that relates to a conductive structure body that comprises a darkening pattern layer having AlOxNy, and a method for manufacturing the same. The conductive structure body according to the exemplary embodiment of the present invention may prevent reflection by a conductive pattern layer without affecting conductivity of the conductive pattern layer and improve a concealing property of the conductive pattern layer by improving absorbance. Accordingly, a display panel having improved visibility may be developed by using the conductive structure body according to the exemplary embodiment of the present invention.
The other prominent patent filers in the space include Shadecraft and Alphabet.
In terms of geographical reach, Toyota Motor leads the pack, followed by pureLiFi and Ecoppia Scientific. In terms of application diversity, Saildrone holds the top position, followed by Walmart and pureLiFi.
Hybrid solar systems combine the benefits of multiple technologies, such as solar photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermal, to offer increased efficiency and energy generation. They provide a versatile and sustainable solution for generating electricity, particularly in areas with limited or intermittent access to sunlight. The integration of multiple energy sources ensures a consistent power supply and maximises the utilisation of renewable energy resources.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the technology industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Technology.