Innovation in the U.S. solar industry : a review of patent activity in solar photovoltaic inverters and mounting systems
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This report examined patent activity in two areas of the solar photovoltaic industry — inverters and mounting systems — and suggests that market creation policies contributed to innovation within these solar supply chain component areas. Relying on patent counts, the report found that patent activity for inverters and mounting systems increased substantially between 2005 and 2012. Drawing on economic research and innovation theory, the report asserts that market creation policies explain how the solar industry shifted its innovation focus toward improving downstream technology in the solar “balance of system,” creating opportunity for endogenous growth within the industry.
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