Artificial Intelligence (AI) offers a huge potential in revolutionising the energy industry. With AI algorithms and tools, the energy sector can better manage power supply and demand and begin the transition to modernised and smarter grids.

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How exactly? Here are the ways.

Smarter energy consumption

 

Source: Smart Energy International

There are existing smart meters which collect information on the electricity consumption of homes. Smart meters provide detailed analytics of a home’s consumption.

At the same time, the AI system constantly monitors the household energy consumption and adjusts energy output accordingly based on the current prices of electricity. This reactivity to the prices in the electricity markets lowers down the overall energy consumption as well as electricity costs.

Smarter energy storage

AI also has the potential to address the ever-present problem of energy storage. An example of an emerging solution would be the California-based Stem who is using AI in helping businesses to store energy in a large scale.  Essentially, energy is set to be stored when the AI detects that the costs are low, this way they can be used when the energy prices are high. This will make energy less expensive.

Autonomous grids

Using AI can also help improve grid stability. With the ability to collect large volumes of information from the growing number of energy sources, AI can help in autonomously adjusting the grid to respond to various events.

For instance, if there are new energy sources connected to the grid, AI can adjust energy allocations to take into account the additional supply. This will also enable the energy sector to circumvent the inherent intermittency of renewable sources.

If for instance a region using wind energy encounters a day of weak wind strength, AI can help adjust the where energy will be sourced from, perhaps drawing from backup fossil fuel sources. On the flip side, during windy days, AI can tune down the use of fossil fuels. This will make energy consumption more sustainable for the long run.

This connectivity will also help in addressing the fragmentation resulting from the diversity of energy sources an area may use, ensuring that each one are properly utilized.

Electricity trading

AI can also help in the realm of electricity trading. AI can be used to improve electricity market forecasts since using data like weather information and trade history.

For instance, power trades in Europe are using blockchain and AI to forecast power supply availability and market prices on a real-time basis. With the ability to process and analyse large volumes of information, AI can help the energy industry in handling the volatility of the market.

As we can see, the energy sector will benefit from AI  not only in their day-to-day operations but also in keeping consumption in check, handling business, as well as in attaining sustainability. This technology has a huge potential, yet it remains underutilized at present. With this, leaders of the energy sector should consider empowering researchers to innovate AI-powered solutions.