Accessing, Obtaining and Protecting
Elgar Law, Technology and Society series
Edited by Abbe E.L. Brown
Chapter 11: A view from inside the renewable energy industry
The chapters in this book portray the breadth of activity and technology encompassed by the term ‘renewable energy’ and even more so when extended to ‘environmental technology’. Whilst this is encouraging in that it highlights the awareness that there is of the breadth of influence that the human race has in the ecology of the planet, there is a risk of implying that unifying policies can be applied to anything under one of these banner titles without recognizing the very varied landscape within them. In examining the question of whether the protection of Intellectual Property (IP) is constraining the implementation of environmental technologies and, hence, the pace at which a number of global challenges can be addressed, we need to be very conscious of this risk. In this commentary, reflecting on some of the points raised in the book, I will address two questions which sit alongside the IP question, namely, which global challenge are we addressing and, then, what are the key bottle- necks and constraints to addressing that challenge?
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