On which technologies do renewable energy innovations build on?
This background document accompanies CPB Discussion Paper 262.
Our descriptive analysis shows that renewable technology mainly builds on its own technology-specific knowledge stock, as we find that on average more than 80% of the prior art citations by patents in the renewable energy field refer to patents in the same specific technology field. Yet, we also find that renewable technologies rely to a large extent on technology developed outside the field of energy. We find very few spillovers to renewable technologies from fossil-fuel technologies, a notable exception being the field of waste energy.