Germany 'leads in offshore patents'

Among the world’s three top nations in offshore wind power – the UK, Denmark and Germany – the latter is the most innovative because it has by far the highest number of patents in the industry, claims a study by Germanwind, a unit of wind energy agency WAB.

“Sixty-five per cent of all investigated offshore wind patents come from Germany. That is a very good result and shows an innovative and highly technological sector,” WAB managing director Ronny Meyer says.

Institutes such as the centre for wind energy research ForWind, the Fraunhofer institute for wind energy and energy system technology, and the German centre for aviation and space travel DLR are setting international standards in wind energy research, WAB stresses.

There are currently 18,000 people working in the offshore wind sector across Germany, but annual patent registrations have actually decreased sharply since 2012, Germanwind project leader Daniela Schimrigk warns.

“It is now the task of industry and politics to make sure that we continue to expand that leading position and assume a key role in the international offshore market,” she said.

Germanwind for the study looked at 3,000 patents from Denmark, the UK and Germany from 1992 to 2013 in areas such as blade and rotors, drive train components, nacelles and offshore towers.