The transition in the energy industry is constantly throwing up new technical challenges: Fossil-fuelled power stations have to be dismantled (in connection with the exit from coal and nuclear power) or converted (for operation with biomass); climate protection requirements must be observed (e.g. purification of flue gas); substitute fuels must be made available (E-fuels); the development of a circular economy must be facilitated, and network services must be performed (batteries, storage systems). Wind turbines are increasing in size and need different foundations; offshore plants are learning to float; hydrogen must be generated, stored and transported efficiently; and much more.
RWE deals with all of these technical challenges in a whole raft of development projects, sometimes on its own, but often in collaboration with partners. This involves having to find new solutions, which we must be able to use not only at a technical level but also legally. To ensure this, we make efforts to protect our own developments through a system of IP management (Intellectual Property Management) by having the appropriate patent protection in place, and sufficient rights of usufruct in our collaborative activities with our partners.
We also provide support to the various development departments in avoiding any violation of third-party protected rights, and we are also prepared, as appropriate, to submit objections if it appears too many patents are being issued to third parties.
All these activities ultimately serve to protect our own freedom to operate.