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Small businesses play big role in green tech

solar panelssolar panelsU.S. small businesses hold a significant share of patents and influence in green energy and technology, according to a report released today by the Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Advocacy.

While small businesses account for 8% of total U.S. patents, they hold 14% of patents in green technology. Small firms' green technology patents are also cited 2.5 times as often as large firms in other patent applications -- a signifier of their originality and influence, the SBA said in a press release.

Released at the World Green Energy Symposium in Philadelphia, the government report comes at a time when green energy is suffering from a black eye. The collapse of Solyndra, a solar energy company that received a $535 million loan guarantee from the government yet filed for bankruptcy last month, has become fodder for critics of clean energy and its support from the Obama administration.

"Small businesses are leading the way in green technology innovation as they have with innovation over all," said SBA Chief Counsel Winslow Sargeant. "It is important that government help foster innovation which leads to commercialization."

According to the report, small businesses also account for:

  • 32% of patents in both smart grids and solar energy, and
  • 15% of patents in batteries and fuel cells.

Read more highlights from the report at SBA.gov.

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