–          Garima Kuthiala[1]


India is a growing economy, with developments in many fields resulting from the changing lifestyle of the people. With the newer inventions and increased availability of new products, services and information, there is also a shift being seen among the people from the growing environmental awareness. There is a move from the use of fossil fuel sources of energy into more safer and renewable forms of energy such as solar, hydro, wind, biofuel, nuclear, biomass amongst other sources.

Concepts of carbon exchange, emissions transfers and purchases, and technology transfers are relevant for the energy sector where most Nations are under global obligations to fulfill their responsibility towards the environment. For such use of green energy sources, there is also the requirement for technology to adapt to the use of such energy form, such as the solar panels, hydro energy turbines, biofuel energy plants amongst others, where the newer the technology the better the output is being seen.

Such technology is either gained through technology diffusion or exchanged on the basis of their patent availability, purchased inter-se Nations, and here in this paper I shall be discussing the importance of the patent law in regard to the renewable energy technology.


With the changing lifestyle there are new innovations and inventions being development for increasing the comfort of the people, and there is also the rising demand for energy to fully utilize such innovations. Renewable energy is a clean and green energy which symbolizes the growth of human mindset and their shift to a more aware development where they realize the importance of safeguarding the environment along with the enjoyment of the daily comforts. This use of renewable energy thus symbolizes the better relationship of humans with their environment and also propagates the idea of an even more advanced society which is getting adept at utilizing its abundant environmental resources in a sustainable manner. Just as the humans started from the use of sunlight and fire as a source for energy, heat and light, further to the use of whale oil and candles for lighting the house, man aims for broadening his approach towards energy in his ever progressing desire for a better lifestyle. Here lies the current issue which mankind is facing to meet “the energy requirements of sustainable development which can be afforded without any climate change aggravation.”[2]

The fossil fuel sources of energy are one which have their disadvantages such as it being costly, environmentally damaging and most importantly it is a non renewable form of energy. As a result we now see the results of the use of these non renewable sources of energy which have resulted in the issue of global climate change due to the large amounts of carbon dioxide emissions released into the environment. Resulting from the demerits as showcased from the use of fossil fuel sources of energy, the renewable energy sources are being reverted back to again at a massive scale[3]

The renewable energy sources are such which have the power to replenish themselves naturally and they are not going to be easily depleted from the earth. These sources which will be discussed herein include solar energy, biomass, geothermal energy, hydro energy, nuclear energy, hydrogen energy, marine/ocean energy, wind energy etc.. These are those sources of energy which will provide for the nations to develop in a sustainable form, and lead to a sustainable energy source with the best option of being secure and sufficient, as the very human survival is dependent on the energy supply.

For the use of this renewable energy, there is need for newer technology which is safeguarded under the various legal provisions, technology being protected by IPR laws mainly. The patent laws in the US date back to 1793, where in the words of Thomas Jefferson, one of the framers of the US Constitution, ‘any new and useful art, machine, manufacture or composition of matter, or any new or useful improvement thereof’, was mentioned, demonstrating the protection offered to such inventions at that time, with the US Congress replacing the word ‘art’ with ‘process’ in 1952 to upgrade the patent laws.

The sustainable energy may be defined as energy sources which are not expected to be depleted in a time frame relevant to the human race, and therefore they contribute to the sustainability of all species.[4]  In the words of J.W. Tester who stated that sustainable energy, “is a dynamic harmony between the equitable availability of energy-intensive goods and services to all people and preservation of the earth for future generations[5].

The renewable energy supply would reduce emission of green house gases significantly; they are obtained naturally from ongoing flows of energy from our surroundings, are limitless and provide a non-harmful delivery of environmental goods and services. Fortunately, with the current technological advancements and developments the renewable sources of energy are able to provide proper provisions for energy conversion and usage options, as mentioned in the table ahead[6].

Energy SourcesEnergy Conversion And Usage Options
HydropowerPower generation
Modern biomassHeat and power generation, pyrolysis, gasification, digestion
GeothermalUrban heating, power generation, hydrothermal, hot dry rock
SolarSolar home systems, solar dryers, solar cookers
Direct solarPhotovoltaic, thermal power generation, water heaters
WindPower generation, wind generators, windmills, water pump
Wave and tideNumerous design, barrage, tidal stream

India and Intellectual Property Rights in Green Technology

Intellectual Property rights are the statutory rights which refer to the creation of the mind, such as an invention, a new design an articles, symbols, or other form of work which is ultimately used in commerce and which is not available in the public domain.[7] This is the inherent right which allows the creator/owner of intellectual property to exclude others from exploiting their creations commercially for a given period of time. Such benefit and protection if given to the creator/owner is in lieu of the disclosure of their knowledge for the benefit of the public.

In India, Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) are governed by certain legislations and protected under the provisions of the following Acts:

  • The Patent Act
  • The Designs Act
  • The Copyright Act
  • The Trade Marks Act
  • The Information Technology Act
  • The Geographical Indication Act
  • Protection of Layout Design for Integrated Circuit Act
  • Plant Varieties Protection and Farmers Rights Act

As per Section 2(m) of the Patents Act, a patent is an exclusive monopoly right which is granted by the government to the creators/inventors, to protect their individual rights and to encourage them to disclose their knowledge and invention for use by himself, an authorized person(s) and to prevent others from making, using and/or selling his invention for the period of the patent tenure. After the expiry of such patent tenure, the invention, technology or technique may be used by anyone in the general public.

The tenure or the life of a patent is usually for a period of 20 years. On the grant of the patent, the manufacture and selling of the invention of the patentee/inventor has to complete certain formalities as are laid down by the law. There are also restrictions on what can be patented and what is not eligible to be patented, such conditions being laid down under Section 3-5 of the Patents Act as following inventions which are not patentable:

  • An invention which is contrary to established natural law
  • An invention which is frivolous
  • An invention relating to atomic energy
  • A mere discovery of a scientific principle or the formation of an abstract theory
  • A method of agriculture or horticulture
  • An invention already known to the public or in general use
  • An invention already patented anywhere else in the world
  • If a patent application is filed prior to one’s, there is prior claiming of the invention

There is also leeway given to certain inventions, where if said invention is not protected under the Patents Act, then it can be protected under the provisions of different acts/laws.

Patents and Green Technology

Green technology is mostly referred to as the technology which is safe to use for the environment and also takes up less primitive form of non-renewable/fossil source of power or renewable source of power for its functioning. There is no agreed definition for the green technology but it is the climate friendly technology, wherein the context of use and the state of the technology determines its environmental friendliness. These climate friendly technologies can also be considered as part of the Environmentally Sound Technologies (ESTs).

With there being no universal accepted method to assess whether a technology is climate friendly or not, most refer to such technology as one where use of it results in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and an increase in the energy efficiency. Such examples would include advanced and cleaner fossil fuel technologies such as carbon capture and storage, cleaner coal technologies such as Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) and pre-combustion technology, combined heat and power etc; and the hydrogen cells and hybrid vehicles.

In most of such technologies while there are well established and known first generation technologies, there are also subsequent ones which are either in the pipeline or  in the stage of Research and Development. The role of technology as a multilateral instrument in climate change is well recognized in both the UNFCCC under Article 4.1 (c) and The Kyoto Protocol under Article 10 (c) which specifically mention about the development, application and diffusion of Environmentally Sound Technologies as relevant to climate change (including the practices, processes and know-how of such technologies).

The Bali Action Plan of 2007 identifies enhanced action on technology development and transfer as a key element of the Action Plan. The role of the Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) in the development and the transfer of such ESTs in the context of climate change has attracted much attention in the recent literature and debates, which regular discussions on live forums and institutional/governmental discussions forums, as well as International Agency discussions such as the Stern Report and the Documents from the UN.[8]

Such discussion papers contribute information on the demands and needs of the developed and developing countries for the ESTs and pay continued attention to the continuation of research work on such technology development and transfer issues as also evident from the various publications and work papers on this topic[9].

Intellectual Property Rights as a number of components, where the patents and trade secrets are the two most important models of IPR protection for the climate friendly green technologies. There is a controversial relationship between innovations, IPRs and patenting for the green technologies with a standard argument[10] being that the patent system is capable of bringing a substantial benefit to the environment, as it produces the environmental welfare through its incentives for the commercialization of technologies ex-ante[11] (such research being based on forecast rather than the actual results).

The role of IPRs in climate friendly technologies varies from technology sector to technology sector, where basic technologies in production, distribution and transmission of energy and the basic technologies in transportation are in the public domain. There is also likelihood that one technology can be covered by more than one patent or a technology described in one patent may be application in more than one technology sector. Such crossovers and overlapping results in the firms and individuals applying for many patents around a technology so that inventing around the same is not hindered by any legal objections, thus giving such prospective patentees a strategic advantage and creating a patent thicket can be built around said technology.

There are many difficulties faced by prospective patentees as well. The innovation cannot be measured here by the number of patents it may hold, with there being weighed down from methodological limitations. Other problems faced by such patents for ESTs may be that such patents may not be commercialized for various reasons, limiting their scope of use and future profitability. In cases of both, conventional climate friendly technology or renewable technology, there is need for extensive technology mapping through the study of patents and the use of such patents[12].

There is also substantial difference in the number of patents applied and the number of patents granted in each sector due to time lag in the between applying for patents and the final decision to the grant or rejection for such patent. The countries also do not adopt a uniform standard for assessing patents in the terms of non-obviousness, utility and novelty for grant of patents.[13]

Climate Technologies in Different Sectors and IPRs

In this current modern era there are many changes in the world, especially in the technology world, such up-gradations include changes such as change in speed of transaction, fast reaction times of markets, faster dissemination of financial information for a broad range of market players, with all such changes being a direct result from the changes brought by the advancement in technology. The nations which stick to only the rule based economic systems such as the gold standard and neglect the technology based market places would risk resultantly loosing vital foreign capital, foreign technology and prospective domestic jobs[14].

With the proper use of information technology in the global economy there may be some disadvantages such as flourishing international crimes, but the non participation in such technologies would result in greater losses. The modern communications, the deregulation and the privatization of government owned businesses, along with a continued competitive pressure to increase the speed of flow of trade, reduced paperwork and the emergence of the global financial systems have altered the global enterprises[15]. They are slowly acknowledging and accepting the need and want for the climate friendly technologies and the benefits offered from the use of such green technologies.

Green Energy Source Technologies and Patents

Solar Energy

Solar energy can be harnessed in multiple forms for a multitude of innovative uses. With three core technologies in the solar renewable energy system being silicon water based system, thin-film photovoltaic’s (PV), and focused solar thermal power. The technology for this power source has a growth range of 30-35 %, though in its infancy, has an enormous future potential with an estimated installed capacity to likely increase to 400 GW in 2020[16].

In the solar energy technology, the basic technology is in the public domain. But among the other three technologies i.e. the silicon water based technology, the thin film photovoltaic’s and the focused solar thermal power, there are many established players and many new entrants. In the thin film PV solar energy technology, the first generation was silicon bases, the second generation included improvements that lead to cheaper PV cells, (in which 4-5 firms had majority for the markets using slightly different technologies).

At present there is unclarity as to whether the patent portfolio would be a barrier for new entries and whether there are patterns of cross licensing for improvement and innovations of PV solar energy technology, it is expected that development in nano-technology would also play an important role in the actualization in the potential solar energy for materials which increase the rate of solar energy in solar energy panels to electrical or other form of usable energy. For example, carbon nano tubes can increase the efficiency of nano particle based solar energy cells and the nano technology would be a great platform technology which would be covered in patents in nano technology and solar energy technology and improve the whole energy output. With the substantial increase in the patent application in PV and new technologies, there is an extensive patenting in older silicon slice technology as well.

At present there are various patents which have been granted by the Centre for Solar energy Materials, which are(top 5)[17]:

  1. Process for producing anti reflective coatings with anti fogging, UV, Weather and Scratch Resistance Properties by inventors S Saktthivel, S Alex, S V Joshi, granted on 25/06/2020.
  2. Production of grapheme based materials by thermal spray by inventors Easwaramoorthy, G Sivakumar granted on 2204/2020.
  3. A high thermal stable selective solar abdorber layer with low emissive barrier coating over a substrate and a process of producing the same by inventor S Sakthivel Srinivasa Rao Atcchuta granted on 23/10/2019.
  4. Process for producing anti reflective coatings with scratch resisance properties by inventor S Sakthivel, RC Maendiran, Shrikant V Joshi granted on 27/06/2019.
  5. Novel copper foils having high hardness and electrical conductivity and a pulse reverse electodepoition method for its preparation by inventor Bulusu Venkata Sarada, Chokkakula Leela, Pydi Pavithra, Mantripragada, Ramkrishna, Tata Narasinga Rao granted on 29/01/2019.

The success of Suntech power Co Ltd based in China is a great example of a developing country firm acquiring technology through overseas acquisition and it has emerged as one of the largest producers of PV, indicating that the growth of a developing country firms is not hampered by patents[18]. In this technology driven society where ones economic viability greatly increases from the use of technology for renewable energy, subsidies and low cost of energy generation from solar energy power plants results in the cost competitiveness and larger benefit of the society. The access to advanced technology results in lowered cost of production and better use of available resources, resulting in better profitability as well. The IPRs through considered a barrier in the licensing and use of green technology can be overcome through other efforts.

Wind Energy

In the wind energy technology system the basic technology is also in the public domain. There are relatively fewer players engaged in this system of technology on a global scale. In the top ten players, two are from the developing nations, including India and China. Patent statistics reveal that the patents on wind energy are increasing, with overseas acquisition being the root cause in access to this form of technology. A case study of Suzlon of India and Goldwind of China indicate that both these firms have their research and development units investing heavily on R&D with access to technology by acquisition and through technology agreements with vendors abroad. Suzlon from India has grown rapidly and has its R&D in Europe as well, with the technology developed here being the 4th largest producer of wind turbines in the world, and having presence in many other countries.

Its model of growing by acquisition, overseas acquisitions, crossbred acquisitions and setting up R&D centers in countries abroad as well and absorbing their technology has resulted in its supremacy. Both China and India are an example of technology leapfrogging, as demonstrated in the wind energy technology sector.

The implication of IPR on acquiring technology is not clear for wind energy systems, although the same are under disputes that patents in wind energy sector could produce specialized products. As per certain studies, transfer of technology in wind energy sector is not easily followed as the foreign technology providers are reluctant to transfer their technology as a concern about IPRs protection. Developing courtiers generally offer less than 1 MW turbines, but companies from developed nations such as General Electric and Vestas offer turbines  with 1.5 MW and 2 MW capacity.

This technological gap between the developing country companies and developed country companies has to bridged. It is suggested that developing countries firms like India’s Suzlon and China’s Goldwind could have a joint R&D program, and then resultantly could then compete in the global market for high capacity turbines. The IPR would be an issue for transfer of technology in this sector as it would result in the diffusion of the technology. As in the solar energy technology industry the industries economics is affected by the government’s policies and cost of production of this energy in comparison to conventional electricity.

As per study of Joanna Lewis, indicating that forms in India and china have adopted different strategies to acquire their technologies in wind power energy sector. Such acquisition of firms creating strategic partnerships and creating benefiting national policies like local content requirement and incentives for wind energy have resulted in betterment of wind energy technology development here. Suzlon of India had acquired controlling stake in many wind turbine energy technology and manufacturing firms and companies overseas and expanded its R&D facilities abroad as well. Joanna Lewis also pointed out that developing firm’s acquire their technologies from smaller firms abroad as the leading wind turbine manufacturer are not keen to license proprietary information for potential competitors.[19]


There are three generations of the biofuel energy source- the first generation include ethanol and are made of sugarcane, starch or vegetable oil as raw material which were not feasible due to their insufficient long term sustainability and its hazardous environmental impact as well as resulting in food shortage and competitiveness in lieu of absence of government subsidies and support; the second generation include biofuels derived from lignocellulosic material using biomass to liquid technology, which were where inputs included feedstock such as straw, grasses and wood which needed large pockets of land and competed against the general food and feed crops; and third generation biofuels are based on the synthetic biology and micro organisms which has a big potential but requires more research.[20]

Energy Patents- OECD Data

There are a number of studies which use patents to measure the environmental friendly and energy efficient innovations[21]. The relationship between the energy innovation, energy technology and the stringency of the environmental policies may be determined from the international patent applications which are filed, these being taken from the OECD (Organization for Economic Corporation and Development) countries;  the amount of R&D expenditure; or the Green Growth Indicators. Here the data can be easily obtained for the public R&D expenditures, but the same is not that easy for the private R&D expenditures which may be confined to the downstream sector for energy production (such expenditures being recorded in the “Electricity water and gas distribution industry”). This definition for energy innovation becomes too narrow as the energy innovations may arise from different sectors (where only a key role may be played by the power companies’ suppliers of material equipment, electronic devices, and measurement instruments[22].

As opposed to the R&D expenditure method, energy patents can explicitly refer to the clean and energy saving innovations. There is a relation between the aggregate international index of environmental policies’ stringency on the energy patents and that this effect is more than that of individual policy measures of a country at the national level[23].

But these patent applications are also affected by certain important drawbacks, such as: many patent applications may not be granted (due to multiplicity or non-compliance for patent application); propensity of the patents granted varies remarkably between and within industries (as per the industries’ strategies , size and capabilities to enforce the patent rights); many patents are not able to distinguish between innovations which have different technological importance and economic value; there are patents of different quality ( many scholars use different indicators for the determination of patent quality such as forward citations which are received by patent applications after their publications, or patent families[24] where there are a number of countries for which protection is sought for the same invention); difficult to determine which patents are registered and by whom; how much do researchers collaborate across countries resulting in difficulty to determine the inter-relation between many patents; many technologies may not be properly disseminated and legally protected in the foreign markets; and lastly what method of search strategy has been adopted for obtaining the data on the patents[25].

The technology development indicators count the priority patent applications, which are broken down by the technological fields, invention year, inventor country and international patent family size. This indicator then monitors the impressive growth of environmental innovations in the past 20 years. Some fields of technology follow the general progress of innovation, and some others (such as climate change mitigation or water related adaptation technologies) are developing at a faster pace. This database allows one to compare between the different technological sectors over a period of time. It also allows international comparisons, to identify the best performers in each technology.[26]

What is Green Technology Investment?

Green technology innovation refers to the process of generating new products, services, processes, business models, management systems etc, which enable the corporations and businesses to hold a competitive edge over the others and assist in handling environmental problems. It refers to concepts such as energy saving, waste recycling, pollution control and prevention, green product design, environmental management, et al. Green technology investment is something which the corporations are not only opting for by their own choices, but are made to choose by government regulations and sanctions.

The green innovation is a form of managerial and competition goal as with its fulfillment the corporations hold an edge apart from its competitors. The enlightened consumer will now opt for the products or services which are environmentally safe and friendly. This makes the job of the management simple, to provide what the market wants, which also aligns with their social and market responsibility, giving a double sided benefit. Green innovation provides two main benefits[27]; firstly, the economical/commercial rewards which the corporations receive on providing the environmentally friendly products, and secondly, the increased financial value.

The green innovation and green technology investment provides an edge for the corporations by fulfilling the consumers needs without compromising their objectives of profit earning as these innovations not only attract the consumers, but also attract special offers or subsidies or in the least reduce the penalties the government would apply if the green technological innovations were not to be implemented. Thus, the green technology innovation acts like a double power magnet to enable the corporations to flourish in the market and hold a special and distinct position


Energy is one component which affects all aspects of life such as material security, well being, convenience, comfort and community wellbeing, as well as affecting the planets wholesome health[28]; which is why there is a need for the energy supply security. With the massive growth and the global population and the emergence of new technologies and innovations, the world is witnessing a rise in the supply for energy. Such supply till date has been made on a massive scale through the utilization of fossil fuel/non renewable sources of energy generation such as coal, oil and natural gas. But after the long use of such non renewable sources of energy, it has come to be realized that the use of such energy forms is not only more costly as well as environmentally damaging, but is also resulting in a global problem of world pollution and global warming.  In such a case, we all are now looking for more resilient, cost effective, renewable, safe and environmentally friendly form of energy which comes in the form of renewable energy. The renewable sources of energy such as solar energy, biomass, geothermal energy, hydro energy, nuclear energy, hydrogen energy, marine/ocean energy, wind energy etc. are the main sources of renewable energy and the sources which are being most studied at the moment. There has to be a study into the form of technologies which have to be developed and utilized for the proper production, storage, distribution and complete utilization of this renewable form of energy resource. This form of energy resource would not only provide the benefits of being environmentally friendly but also has the benefits of being cost effective, energy security, energy access, social and economic development for wider regions and also a helpful factor in climate change mitigation and the reduction of environmental and health impacts. There is an urgent need for the provision of better sources of energy for not only the metropolitan areas, but also for rural areas and this quest for universal energy provision is a global Endeavour towards which all are working for fulfilling the energy demands of the present and also making an Endeavour towards energy security for the future generations. As a result of this global aim, the world nations are coming together and looking towards the implementation of policies which would be more directional towards sustainable development, taking their guidance from the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) laid down by the United Nations General Assembly. When considering the use of renewable energy sources as a source of energy for us, there are many advantages as discussed previously, but there are also certain hindrances in the way they may be implemented effectively in the society. Such hindrances may include market failures to lure members of the society to opt for renewable sources of energy, lack of information/guidance for its use, improper guidance as to the access to raw material for future renewable source of energy deployment, the discontinuity in the generation of such energy resulting from seasonal variations, as well as factors such as carbon footprint. Such hindrances can mostly be resolved with the proper legal policies and legal measures to ensure the complete and effective utilization of these renewable sources of energy, and proper protection of the technology for the use of such renewable technology.

[1] Associate Advocate at Kuthiala Associates.

[2] Saeed Sanaeepur, Hamidreza Sanaeepur, Ali Kargari & Mohammad Hassan Habibi,’Renewable energies: climate-change mitigation and international climate policy, International Journal of Sustainable Energy Vol. 33 , Iss. 1,2014;last visited on 27th October, 2017.

[3]Abbasi, T. Premalatha, M. and Abbasi (2011), ‘The return to renewables : Will it help in global warming control?’, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Issue 15, Pg 891-894; Available at https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1364032110003357?via%3Dihub

[4]Henrik Lund, ‘Renewable Energy Systems- The Choice and Modeling of 100% Renewable Solutions’,  Academic Press, 2010, ISBN 978-0-12-375028-0

[5]Jefferson W. Tester, Elisabeth M. Drake, Michael J. Driscoll, Michael W. Golay and William A. Peters, ‘Sustainable Energy- Choosing among options’, 2005 ISBN 9780262201537

[6]Phebe Asantewaa Owusu and Samuel Asumadu Sarkodie, ‘A review of renewable energy sources, sustainability issues and climate change mitigation’, 2016, Cogent Engineering, Available at: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/23311916.2016.1167990?needAccess=true

[7]Environmental Laws of India, C.P.R. Environmental Education Centre,  Available at www.cpreecenvis.nic.in.

[8] In this paper the focus is on role of IPRs in technology transfer and diffusion than on technology transfer debate per se in the context of UNFCCC. An overview of that debate can be found in Intellectual Property  Quarterly Update Fourth Quarter 2008, Feb 2009 www.ciel.org.

[9] To know more about the work of RIS in this please visit www.ris.org.in.

[10] For a recent analysis that expresses the view that while IPRs are important, they should be seen as one set of instruments in the broad portfolio in the innovation system and that  there are alternatives to patents to stimulate innovation see Stiglitz. J. (2008) .

[11] Kieff (2002)  for a discussion. See also Mandel (2005) for the relationship between environmental innovation and patents and the question of market failure in environmental innovation.

[12] There are initiatives at ICTSD and Royal Institute of International Affairs, London to do some mapping exercises in climate-change technologies based on patent analysis and statistics. See also WIPO (2008b).

[13] As a result patent claims granted in one country may not be granted in another country or may be granted partially. There are many examples to illustrate this. For example, regarding patents on BRCA gene in Europe and USA see Paradise, J. (2004).

[14] Akshay Joshi, ‘Globalisation and technology- Lesson for India” Routledge, Taylor and Francis, ISSN: 0970-0161 (Print) 1754-0054 (Online) Journal homepage: http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/rsan20, Pg 3

[15] Jessica T. Mathews, “Powershift”, Foreign Affairs, vol. 76, no. 1, January/ February 1997, pp. 57-58

[16] See Lorenz, P., et. al (2008) for an overview of the technology, technology trends  and economics of solar power.

[17] https://www.arci.res.in/patents-centre-for-solar-energy-materials


[19] For an overview of the global biofuels situation and issues see FAO (2008)

[20] A discussion on the potentials and limitations of these technologies is beyond the scope of this paper. See Breithaupt, H. (2008) for a discussion on some of the technical problems and issues that are of that concern to scientists.

[21] Such may include the Porter Hypothesis, where in 1991, the American economist Michael E. Porter had proposed that it were the stringent environmental policies and regulations which could lead to a win-win situation, in which private net benefits of firms as well as the social welfare could be increased.

[22] Alessandro Sterlacchini (2019): Trends and determinants of energy innovations: patents, environmental policies and oil prices, Journal of Economic Policy Reform, DOI: 10.1080/17487870.2019.1565410

[23] Alessandro Sterlacchini (2019): Trends and determinants of energy innovations: patents, environmental policies and oil prices, Journal of Economic Policy Reform, DOI: 10.1080/17487870.2019.1565410

[24] Here the patent families play a vital role, as they have the benefit of both cost effectiveness (being applied in one go for multiple countries) and also time efficient (by overcoming the multiplicity of the patent applications in different nations for the same inventions). These are a set of all the patents in different countries that protect the same invention.

[25] Dernis H., Gkotsis P., Grassano N., Nakazato S., Squicciarini M., van Beuzekom B.,Vezzani A. (2019). World Corporate Top R&D investors: Shaping the Future of Technologies and of AI. A joint JRC and OECD report. EUR 29831 EN, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, 2019, ISBN 978-92-76-09670-2 , doi:10.2760/16575, JRC117068.

[26] OECD, Indicators modeling outlooks- Green Patents, OECD- better policies for better lives, Available at: http://www.oecd.org/env/indicators-modelling-outlooks/green-patents.htm

[27] Yvon Chouinard, Jib Ellison and Rick Ridgeway, “The Sustainable Economy”, Harvard Business Review, October, 2011. Available At: https://hbr.org/2011/10/the-sustainable-economy

[28] Phebe Asantewaa Owusu and Samuel Asumadu Sarkodie, ‘A review of renewable energy sources, sustainability issues and climate change mitigation’, 2016, Cogent Engineering, Available at: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/23311916.2016.1167990?needAccess=true