Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become a bit of a buzzword. From “machine learning” in the latest iPhones, to facebook chat bots that created its own language. AI has entered the mainstream consciousness and applications continue to grow. Just what is AI and what potential impact could it have on the fields of energy and sustainability?
AI today is not about replicating the human mind inside a computer. Instead is the ability of a machine to sense, understand, use logic, and change over time. The ability to take data and then form a human interaction or decision. In the medical field, AI is being used to look at different types of medical data and then based on the data from different tests to deliver a diagnosis based on that data. In the shipping industry, AI controlled logistics can look at patterns in supply chain and create greater efficiencies for that industry.
Opportunity in Energy
AI has an opportunity to change the way that companies manage and consume their energy. AI technology that can process data quickly and efficiently, combined with technologies like blockchain and distributed energy resources will allow both grid operators and consumers the ability to effectively manage energy in the decentralized energy landscape of the future.
Manage Energy Use
Companies collect large amounts of data that can be used to help use energy more efficiently. Energy data can be analyzed by AI to proactively identify trends in energy usage, see where changes need to be made, and make the required changes to ensure optimum efficiency. Being able to respond instantly to demand response opportunities or request maintenance without human involvement will dramatically optimise energy use. The days of an Energy Manager having to scroll through automated alerts to identify necessary actions could be limited.
AI will help companies drive corporate sustainably. One example is processing the value of Environmental Attribute Credits, such as Renewable Energy Credits, to help companies decide when is the best time to purchase. For those companies with onsite renewables generation, predictive analytics can look at weather patterns such as wind and sunlight to help determine peak times for energy creation. AI can also ensure distributed energy storage systems or batteries are used effectively and charge and use the energy stored in an optimal way.
AI can help companies decide how best to purchase energy. AI can study complex market trends and dissect the data to create purchasing plans that will benefit companies in a volatile market. This technology can also look at how companies consume their energy load, and create plans on how to best consume the energy that they have purchased.
Our world is becoming more connected. Technologies like AI can be leveraged to help businesses gain a competitive edge. By connecting devices to computers that can spot trends, analyse data, and adapt to the ever changing market we will begin to see greater efficiency, cleaner energy and more savings.