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Sustainable technologies

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Last updated: 25.11.2019

Access to patents for climate change mitigation technologies

The EPO has established a new classification scheme for technical attributes of technologies that can be loosely referred to as climate change mitigation. This makes it easier to retrieve patent document that cover these technologies.

To ensure their relevance, the categories were defined with the help of experts in the field, both from within the EPO and with the help of external partners, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The so-called Y02 subclasses include areas related to specific clean energy technologies, namely Y02C (greenhouse gases- capture and storage/sequestration or disposal) and Y02E (greenhouse gases - emissions reduction technologies related to energy generation, transmission or distribution).

Other climate change mitigation areas include Y02B, namely relating to Buildings, including the residential sector, Y02T relating to the Transportation of goods and persons, and Y04S for "Smart Grids" technologies, such as remote network operation, smart metering, electric and hybrid vehicles interoperability, and energy trading and marketing.

This is what the breakdown for a specific energy type looks like (example solar energy):
Code Y02E
Energy generation through renewable energy sources
Geothermal, hydro, oceanic, solar (PV and thermal), wind
Combustion technologies with mitigation potential
CHP, CCPP, IGCC, synair, cold flame, etc.
Energy generation of nuclear origin
Fusion and fission
Technologies for efficient electrical power generation, transmission or distribution
Reactive power compensation, efficient operation of power networks, etc.
Technologies for the production of fuel of non-fossil origin
Biofuels, from waste
Technologies with potential or indirect contribution to GHG emissions mitigation
Energy storage (batteries, ultracapacitors, flywheels...), hydrogen technology, fuel cells, etc.
Other energy conversion or management systems reducing GHG emissions
Synergies among renewable energies, fuel cells and energy storage


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