The retail industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by environmental sustainability, regulatory reforms, risk mitigation, and the growing importance of technologies such as customer service robotics, robotic inventory management, voice commerce, and smart checkout. In the last three years alone, there have been over 133,000 patents filed and granted in the retail industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Environmental Sustainability in Retail: Energy trading platforms.

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 128,000 patents to analyse innovation intensity for the retail industry, there are 70+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Energy trading platforms are a key innovation area in environmental sustainability

The energy trading platform enables individuals to buy or sell electricity generated from renewable sources in real-time. This allows the trading of excess generated solar energy between an individual and his neighbours.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 20+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established retail companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of energy trading platforms.

Key players in energy trading platforms – a disruptive innovation in the retail industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.

Patent volumes related to energy trading platforms

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Panasonic 64 Unlock company profile
Honda Motor 22 Unlock company profile
Toshiba 21 Unlock company profile
Nuvve 20 Unlock company profile
Access Business Group International 18 Unlock company profile
Toyota Motor 17 Unlock company profile
NEC 16 Unlock company profile
Johnson Controls International 14 Unlock company profile
State Grid Corporation of China 14 Unlock company profile
Consert 14 Unlock company profile
Hitachi 13 Unlock company profile
Willdan Group 11 Unlock company profile
MelRok 11 Unlock company profile
SK Telecom 10 Unlock company profile
Sony Group 9 Unlock company profile
Qualcomm 8 Unlock company profile
Emerging Automotive 8 Unlock company profile
Koninklijke Philips 7 Unlock company profile
Meditor European Master Fund 7 Unlock company profile
Expanergy 6 Unlock company profile
KDDI 6 Unlock company profile
Chargepoint 6 Unlock company profile
Encored Technologies USA 6 Unlock company profile
Opus One Solutions Energy 5 Unlock company profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 5 Unlock company profile
ParkPod 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Panasonic is one of the leading patent filers in energy trading platforms. Some other key patent filers in this space include Honda Motor, Toshiba, and Nuvve. Toshiba recently launched the “Renewable Energy Aggregation Service Support Service” for balancing and trading operations of renewable energy. This support service is meant for renewable energy producers.

In terms of application diversity, SK Telecom leads the pack, with Chargepoint and Nuvve Corporation in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Access Business Group International holds the top position, followed by Consert and Expanergy.

Energy trading platforms will potentially become an important aspect in the retail industry, with retail companies increasingly focusing on environmental sustainability.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the retail industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Retail.


GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.