dinsdag 25 juni 2013

Patents on solar cells and EU tariffs

Now that the EU has decided to put tariffs on solar cells from China, let us have a look at what is happening in the patent field in the world [1]:

In 2012, the number of published patent applications on solar cells in China was an astonishing 1814 applications, whereas the corresponding number in the USA was 268 and the number of published European Patent applications was only 95. Nowadays, in China, about 20 times as much patent applications are filed on solar cells as in the "European Patent Area" (38 members).

Not only did China take over the global production of solar cells, it appears from these numbers, that China also took over the innovative lead in this technology.

In 2005, when hardly any Chinese patent on solar panels was filed, less than 30% of the solar cells originated from China, now this number is about 60%. Since the intellectual property on this topic has even stronger departed from the western world, we can only expect the Chinese portion of the global solar cell production to increase even more in both absolute and relative quantities.

Putting import tariffs on a solar cell technology from a country that is apparently ahead and gaining speed in in this technology and production is in my opinion counterproductive. Counterproductive in the sense that local USA and European manufacturers are no longer forced to innovate and can remain producing with a less competitive manufacturing techniques. Thus, it is directly against the benefit of a globalized competitive world. In my view it is also heavily unfair to the Chinese manufacturers who do contribute to a more green world by innovative and efficient manufacture.

The consumers of Europe pay a heavy prize, they find their alternative energy costs increasing, to the benefit of the traditional energy generating sector, being fossil and nuclear power generation. This decision is thus directly antagonizing the abatement of carbon dioxide production. Not the road to be taken from an environmental perspective.

The European union, with its ill decision on import tariffs is thus poisoning the innovative climate, is disadvantaging their own inhabitants both money wise and health wise and is endangering the environment by unnecessary stimulating the planet endangering greenhouse effects.

Being a fervent proponent of the European integration, the decision to put up a tariff structure can thus be seen as a pitch dark page in Europe's integration history. It is step back in a technology sense that we, on a global level cant afford ourselves.

Those responsible for this decision: shame on you! SHAME ON YOU!!!

This decision is to be reverted as soon as possible, for the benefit of Western manufacturers, Chinese manufacturers, the European citizens and the inhabitants of the entire Globe.

Sources and literature

[1] http://worldwide.espacenet.com/?locale=en_EP,  numbers based on search hits of applications, comprising the combination of words "solar panel"in title and/or abstract.

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photovoltaics Wikipedia article on Solar Cell manufacture