Spatial Dynamics in the Global Knowledge Base for Solar PV: Evidence from Patent Analysis
*Names in bold indicate Presenter
This paper aims at addressing this gap based on an extensive patent analysis of the world’s leading solar PV companies and research institutes. In this paper, we ask: 1) what the current global configuration of the solar PV sector’s knowledge base is; 2) how the relevant knowledge networks have evolved over time; 3) if the core of co-patenting and patent citation networks is shifting towards actors in Asian developing countries; and 4) what drives this shift of technological leadership.
To answer these research questions, we extract global patent records related to solar PV technologies, and analyze country and institutional level patent counts, the geographic scope of patenting activities, as well as the geographic reach of co-patenting and patent citation networks. Based on social network analysis, this paper derives an aggregate picture of the world’s PV knowledge base and identifies recent spatial shifts in the sector’s innovation activities. Ultimately, it will enable us to discuss near-to mid-term scenarios for the competitive positions of Western countries and Asian catching-up countries, and to inform policy making with a global view on relevant innovation processes in emerging cleantech industries.