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Banish the Darkness with Artificial Intelligence

With more than 7.6 billion people 3 now teeming on our planet and all of us needing increasing amounts of energy 4, we cannot rely anymore on simple dynamo generators creating electricity and sending it straight to the desired location.

The Internet of Things (IoT), which requires cloud and edge computing at massive scale, is forecasted to exceed 75 billion devices connected to the internet by 2025 (up from 23 billion presently).6 Research into autonomous vehicles is rapidly approaching deployment stages.

China is building cities specifically designed for autonomous vehicles.7 The Hyperloop – Elon Musk’s dream of accelerating people and cargo in a vacuum tube to near the speed of sound – is being tested in the United States and Europe.8 Population growth is also spurring construction of whole cities from scratch;

simulations of cyber-attacks are routinely done by groups such as DOE and DHS.14 15 While a completely failure-proof grid may be impossible with the moving demand target caused by new technologies online and rapidly growing electricity demands, companies and government agencies must nevertheless do their best to anticipate and to prevent both accidental and nefarious situations before they happen.

There has been much talk recently about the so-called “smart grid,” defined as an electricity supply network that uses digital communications technology to detect and react to local changes in usage. 16 A smart grid has three major facets: data from sensors, computational power and optimized algorithms.

Venture capital funding pumped almost $5 billion into AI startups in 2017 alone. 21 AI has become a top corporate spending priority, with many hundreds of billions of dollars devoted to nabbing top talent and to securing algorithmic leadership. 22 There is a global race among governments to capture the title of AI world leader.  23 The reason for this flood of venture capital, corporate and government funding is that AI can solve problems far faster than humans, and in some cases solve problems that no human can.

AI might assist in diminishing the use of peaker plants by leveraging advanced forecasting capabilities – for example, considering weather forecasts, regional demand cycles, and smart meter sensors in a single holistic package.

Because of their increasing presence and inherent inefficiencies, it is estimated that 2% of the world’s energy is consumed by data centers. 28 Both to save costs and to show-off its earlier purchase of the British AI startup DeepMind, Google decided to test AI in improving the cooling efficiency of their computer banks.

“The autonomous AI control system initially led to a 12 percent improvement, which over nine months of operation increased to around a 30 percent improvement, with further improvements expected over time as its decisions are improved by having more training data.

As a consequence, the grid converters should be able to exhibit advanced functions like dynamic control of active and reactive power, operation within a wide range of voltage and frequency, voltage ride-through capability, reactive current injection during faults, and grid services support.”30 AI could assist with energy conversion from renewables by leveraging deep learning to identify key performance optimization criteria and thus enable efficient uptake of the generated power into the smart grid.

Although it is debatable whether all these startups and corporate entities are truly using AI (some startups treat “AI” as a form of pixie dust—sprinkle it in a pitch in attempts to get funding), it makes sense to leverage the powers of learning algorithms to monitor and to react to cyber-attacks.

In the United States, the complexity of the grid—with more than 8,000 power plants, 200,000 miles of high-voltage transmission lines, and 5.5 million miles of local distribution lines 33 34—necessitates that even local utilities must think hard about how they monitor their systems for intrusive cyber-attacks.

One such partnership was announced recently between BootstrapLabs (a leading venture capital firm focused on Applied AI in San Francisco) and innogy SE (a leading Germany energy company): “BootstrapLabs and the innogy Innovation Hub will coordinate globally to build the largest artificial intelligence community for energy ecosystems, and provide a combination of capital and support to Applied AI startups that reimagine the future of energy production, distribution and management across decentralized and interconnected energy services for consumers, machines, enterprises, and public sector agencies.” 36 Sebastian Niestrath, SVP Infrastructure Platform Ventures at innogy New Ventures LLC, further clarified: “The need to interpret massive amounts of data and use AI-supported algorithms for grid operations is becoming increasingly important, especially in Germany – where electricity from renewable sources has pretty much quadrupled during the last 15 years and where millions of solar panels are now installed on residential buildings.” Moreover, with the California Energy Commission unanimously voting 5-0 in favor of mandating that all single-family homes, apartments and condominium complexes of three stories or less require solar panels as of January 2020, California will quickly follow suit in the need for AI-supported algorithms for grid operations.

Tom’s insights have informed senior policymakers, enabled millions of dollars in industry and academic funding, broken ground in multiple new research areas, and kept diverse groups abreast of the rapid pace and implications of technology change.

Using artificial intelligence to improve energy efficiency at Adelaide Oval

Adelaide Oval and Origin are conducting a trial to test how much the Oval could save by using software developed by UK-based start-up, Tempus Energy, which was part of the first Free Electrons intake in 2017.

Free Electrons, co-founded by Origin, is an open innovation system that brings together 10 forward-thinking utilities and 15 leading start-ups to support the development of their ideas and find a pathway to get their products and services to market.

The Tempus technology uses artificial intelligence (AI) and algorithms to control and optimise when flexible onsite assets use energy, shifting non-time critical loads to cheaper periods or to when renewables are plentiful.

5 Ways How Artificial Intelligence Can Revolutionize Energy Industry

The energy industry is perhaps the most important facet of human development.

The most important trend is finding a way to provide renewable and available energy without too many resources being spent.

In this article, we will explore the five ways in which this innovation and bring change to the energy industry.

Reduction of mistakes BP’s recent statistical review on energy shows that the demand for energy is rising at a faster pace than ever.

If an AI program governs the disposition of energy at a power plant, it will be able to pinpoint any problem faster than a human would.

Because it’s self-sustainable, AI software doesn’t need to focus on any other task rather than observing the execution of the protocol.

By handing the reins of power allocation to an AI-governed program, you would be able to provide better service to your customers.

As new software gets developed, we will be able to reduce unnecessary power spending and developed a better way of using existing resources.

Renewable resources in power plants are a thing currently, but an AI software can find better ways of using that energy to our advantage.

Striving towards using better sources of energy with the help of AI will be a major breakthrough in fighting climate change due to use of fossil fuels.

This situation can cause overloads, malfunctions and the situation will only grow worse with our growing population.

Speaking about the advantages of AI in the energy industry, we’ve already mentioned better resource allocation.

Splitting big plants into smaller ones will improve energy efficiency, prevent catastrophic blackouts and provide customers with better power.

Predicting problems and suggesting improvements Industry professionals often face problems when thinking about the improvement of an energy grid.

This timely fixing and renewing of existing components will prevent many problems that plague us today.

Instead of just focusing on improving existing conditions, AI can help us expand the entire meaning of “energy industry” ...

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