Artificial intelligence and data science have been in the spotlight for quite some time but AI in energy & utilities industries might not have been a true head-turner. These cutting-edge technologies’ presence in the energy industry, however, deserves attention and appreciation – due to many significant developments and interesting use cases.
In this article, we’ll shed light on the ways AI, along with data science, enhances the energy industry and energy companies. For sure, artificial intelligence in energy makes businesses involved more data-driven and adapted to the challenges of the XXIst century, with energy transition topping the list.
Table of contents:
- EnergyTech & AI – a power couple
- AI in energy utilities – top 5 applications
- AI, data science & energy industry – summary
EnergyTech & AI – a power couple
The modern energy industry is much more than about keeping the lights on. It has to face huge, game-changing challenges, such as a giant switch to renewable energy and solving the problems that the aging infrastructure entails. Plus, there’s an issue of resource availability or insufficiency.
What helps find powerful answers to these burning questions are EnergyTech solutions. There are at least several innovative energy segments that make the whole energy industry more future-oriented, like Advanced Photovoltaics, Wind Energy, or Hydrogen Technologies. And AI is often an important piece of a puzzle in these cases.
With AI business tools on board, EnergyTech can adapt better to these major obstacles. What’s vital, is that AI’s data-driven approach can identify trends and trace anomalies, which may lead to some great solutions and developments in the long run.
In brief, artificial intelligence (AI) and data science make energy consumption more balanced and reasonable by helping reduce energy waste and increase grid stability, as well as improve energy security. But this is just the tip of the iceberg of what this powerful combo does for the people and the planet alike.
Let’s get into more details.
AI in energy utilities – top 5 applications
Here are the top 5 applications of AI and Data Science in EnergyTech.
1. Fighting climate change
Through its numerous applications in EnergyTech, AI can help tackle and fight climate change. The switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources and a low-carbon economy is strongly enhanced by Artificial Intelligence tools and algorithms. But there are other energy-related areas or problems that AI improves.
What it does is reduce energy waste, design energy-efficient buildings, control and optimize power consumption and power storage, improve energy efficiency, measure global greenhouse gas emissions, and predict renewable power output, to name but a few interesting use cases.
2. Enhancing the renewable energy sector
Renewable energy sources are the future of the energy sector, and one of the reasons for this strong position is, undeniably, being so substantially powered by AI. There are many ways in which Artificial Intelligence enhances renewable energy generation, making the switch to solar panels and wind smoother and faster.
AI’s strength in this area lies primarily in forecasting the weather conditions to keep grids stable – as renewable energy relies heavily on unsteady resources like airflow, sunlight, and rainfall water and its nature is intermittent.
On top of that, with AI solutions, the safety and efficiency of renewable energy get improved. Moreover, demand forecasting (in particular households, during holidays, etc.) based on historical and current power grid maintenance is possible thanks to the use of AI algorithms.
3. Boosting energy efficiency and optimizing energy grids
In many countries, the maintenance of energy grids is getting more and more problematic. Obsolete grid infrastructure, extreme weather events, and increased power demand make it very challenging and the risk of outages goes up.
Luckily, there are Artificial Intelligence power grids – often referred to as smart grids – that make it all different. They rely heavily on intelligent automation and enable autonomous optimal economic dispatch. They can manage energy flows effectively and efficiently – by predicting the use and production of energy from various sources, including renewable ones and microgrids.
It’s achievable thanks to AI’s ability to gather, analyze, and quickly react to real-time data on weather, as well as the energy’s supply and demand. The possibility to respond swiftly increases the grid’s adaptability to changing circumstances like sudden weather events.
4. Detecting electricity theft
Electricity theft is a serious problem in many emerging markets, and in countries like India, Brazil, or Malaysia, it accounts for up to 40% of the total electricity distributed. Power theft may cover various activities, but unauthorized use of meters (meter tampering) and direct theft are often topping the list.
AI-based power flow monitoring and detecting sudden surges and drops in electricity usage in particular locations can tackle this issue effectively. Modern smart grids that make use of advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) facilitate that greatly. But theft detection is one thing; AI algorithms can also prevent power thefts based on analyzing power consumption patterns.
5. Increasing energy security and grid security
Real-time monitoring and improving operational efficiency – something that AI solutions provide – can increase energy security significantly. Microgrids – small-scale, self-sufficient, and AI-controlled – local electrical grids are also important in this regard.
Depending on the circumstances, they can be connected to or disconnected from the traditional utility grid – which makes energy usage optimized and energy security increased, especially in emergency cases. As for grid security, cybersecurity attacks can be prevented and tackled efficiently, too, and in the case of damages, AI-based disaster recovery can be provided.
AI, data science & energy industry – summary
The traditional global energy sector – with coal plants and significant energy waste – is a huge burden to the natural environment but thanks to the role of AI in energy & utilities, the earth can be relieved a little. And so are energy companies that don’t have to deal with resource waste that much.
In brief, AI enhances the energy sector, making it more effective and competitive. Machine learning algorithms and technologies simply increase the efficiency of power plants, oil and gas companies, and solar and wind farms.
The diverse applications of AI include using it to save energy, automation in the energy sector, and machine learning in the energy storage sector. Daily operations, transmission, and distribution can all be improved thanks to the use of these cutting-edge technologies.
How is it all possible? Artificial intelligence is able to dig through huge amounts of energy data to get some insightful analyzes and remarks lightning fast. This way, AI not only can mimic human behavior but exceeds it greatly.
Want to know more about how AI and Data Science can enhance your energy organization? Looking for ways to optimize energy demand, power generation, and energy usage? If you need professional advice on benefitting from Artificial Intelligence in EnergyTech, contact Codete now.