Thematic Section - Future of Energy-efficient Operations and Production Systems

Technological patterns in the wind power industry: a study based on patent deposits

Rafael Garcia Barbastefano; Cristina Gomes Souza; Maria Clara Lippi; Renata Cristina Teixeira; Daniel Penalva Santos

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Paper aims: This paper presents the results of technological analysis on wind energy based on patent documents classified with code F03D – “Wind Motors.”

Originality: Despite several studies on wind energy, this paper follows a different approach, presenting an overview that brings together technical and market information through social network analysis methods.

Research method: The study covered data from 55,223 documents filed in the principal patent offices of the world, obtained from the Derwent Innovations Index. The publications were organized and analyzed through correlation and technology transfer networks.

Main findings: General Electric (GE) and European companies have dominated the wind energy industry. However, in the last years, companies from emerging countries are also penetrating and becoming major players. Emphasis can be given to China, which has a deposit pattern detached from the rest of the world.

Implications for theory and practice: This study indicates that these companies became important turbine manufacturers and started to invest in developing new technologies and seek patent protection. Companies from emerging countries are new entrants, and their performance is still restricted to few markets compared to traditional companies.


Wind energy, Renewable energy, Patent analysis, Technological monitoring


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