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Innovation boom: Danish green energy patents and projects skyrocket in numbers

State of Green
By State of Green, March 27, 2020

In just one year, patent applications in the field of renewable energy development have increased by 25 per cent, while EUDP fund applications for green energy projects have gone up 55 per cent.

Denmark is already one of the most innovative countries in Europe when looking at patent applications per capita, according to data from the European Patent Office (EPO). With 412 patent applications per million inhabitants, Denmark is the third-most innovative country, only surpassed by Switzerland and Sweden.

However, the data from EPO also reveals that an increasing amount of patents from Denmark is within the field of renewable energy development.

From 2018 to 2019, Danish patent applications have increased by 24.6 per cent in the category ‘engines, pumps and turbines’, where renewable energy patents are registered.

“The figures from the EPO confirm the strength of Danish companies in the development of innovative technologies that speed up solving the climate challenges. It is good for the whole society when Danish companies invest more than EUR 9.3 billion in research and innovation. In a country without raw materials, we must live by the “wise heads and hands” of our companies and entrepreneurs, who come up with the next groundbreaking ideas,” said says Leading Senior Policy Advisor at the Confederation of Danish Industry (DI), Lars Holm Nielsen to DI Business.

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Green energy projects up by 55 per cent

Meanwhile, the Danish green energy fund Energy Technology Development and Demonstration Program (EUDP) has received an 88 energy project applications totaling over EUR 120 million. This is a 55 per cent increase since last year’s application round. The companies’ own financing in the 88 applications totals around EUR 88 million.

“It is super positive that there are so many applications. This indicates increased interest in – and a willingness to contribute to – achieving the Danish ambition to reduce CO2 emissions by 70 per cent by 2030. And to strengthen the further development of Danish climate-friendly technologies both domestically and for export,” said EUDP Chairman Anne Grete Holmsgaard in a press release.

The EUDP fund has existed since 2007 and has only once before experienced such high demand for funding for new innovative energy technology.

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EUDP: Good pay-off and good for green ambitions

With the projects invested in since 2007, the fund has also had a high financial pay-off. In aggregate, an additional turnover of EUR 1.63 billion has been achieved for EUR 590 million invested since 2007. Moreover, an additional turnover of EUR 710 million is expected within 3-5 years from the various green energy EUDP projects.

Furthermore, there has been a high rate of success for the energy projects that have received support from EUDP. Out of the 591 EUDP projects receiving support, 93 per cent have been successful, when assessed against the original objectives stated in their application to EUDP. In this way, the EUDP is in several ways directly linked to Denmark’s green objectives of securing green energy supply and becoming completely independent of fossil fuels, while focusing on the strong Danish know-how – often in interaction between companies and research institutions.

With this backdrop, all sitting political parties in the Danish parliament agreed on prioritising the EUDP with more funding in 2019.

 

Sources:

DI Business (in Danish)

EUDP (in Danish)

European Patent Office (EPO) Patent Index 2019

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