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Research On The Development Trend of Global Geothermal Industry Based On Patent Analysis
Geothermal energy, as an efficient and clean "local" energy derived from deep part of the earth, has the advantages of large resource scale, sustainable stability and environmental friendliness while utilizing. It has a wide range of application scenarios under the background of carbon peak and carbon neutralization, and is recognized by majority countries to play a pivotal role in the process of energy evolution. At present, the world has entered the digital, intelligent era, means that information access channels and transmission speed more convenient and fast and accurate. With the arrival of the post-epidemic era and gradual recovery of the oil market, energy market competition becomes more fierce, new energy and traditional energy go hand in hand, therefore, the crucial technologies and their advantages in the global competition showed unprecedented importance. In today's increasingly strengthened awareness of property rights, patent analysis is an effective shortcut for tracking the technology trend and the updated studies on certain technical field, and carrying out targeted technology and product research and development. This paper studies the technology trend of the global geothermal industry from the perspective of patent analysis. The study found that since 2001, there are 66 countries, regions or organizations in the world applied geothermal patents, mainly distributed in China, the United States, the World Intellectual Property Organization and other countries or organizations. In particular, China and the United States are intensive patents in this technology field, far ahead in Chinese mainland and in the United States, with 761 and 378 geothermal technology patents, accounting for 30% and 15% of the total patents. On the whole, geothermal technology patent literature mainly distributed in the countries and regions owning abundant geothermal resources, large-scale oil companies and advanced science and technology, such as Chinese mainland, the United States, Germany, Australia and Japan. The main sources of geothermal technological patents applied in Chinese mainland are European countries, the United States and Canada. Since 2000, the development of worldwide geothermal technology can be divided into three stages, for instance, early slow development period of 2000-2006, rapid development period of 2007-2009, stable development period from 2010 to present, however, the global COVID-19 epidemic in 2020 has a certain negative impact on the development of geothermal industry that the number of geothermal patent applications has a downward trend. To sum up, geothermal development scheme optimization technology, geothermal power generation and geothermal dynamic monitoring technology are the current most important study fields, and underground thermal exchanging and hot dry rock power generation are the future crucial technologies. China has certain advantages technologies in geothermal direct use, resources evaluation, play evaluation, geothermal drilling and completion, although geothermal exploration, development and utilization were concerned less than that in developed countries. Meanwhile, China pay little attention to technologies of geothermal power generation and underground thermal exchanging, which patents are concentrated almost in China without overseas layout.