AI and Renewable Energy

Kenna Castleberry

As artificial intelligence is becoming more of a societal standard, there are many industries it is being applied to. One of these industries is new and renewable energy. There are many reasons why artificial intelligence (AI) should be paired with new energy. As our society shifts to using more renewable energy, there will be a lot of work needed to make this transition as smooth as possible. According to the World Economic Forum, this transition will need to be carefully managed to minimize any potential negative environmental impacts. As AI works to optimize processes and data, it would be extremely beneficial to oversee and manage this transition.

Much of the cost of renewable energy is infrastructure-based, such as replacing wind turbine parts. With AI, this cost can be reduced, as AI can forecast as well as manage each of the millions of assets from one renewable energy farm, increasing energy efficiency and use. Implementing robotics or even supercomputers can help mitigate costs as well, as robotics can help modernize infrastructures and supercomputers can help predict energy usage and efficiency. As most energy sources need constant monitoring, including renewable energy, AI programs can do this monitoring, saving time and money for energy companies.

Because of AI’s ability to predict and forecast based on inputted data, it can mitigate any potential energy surges, as well as help with changing environmental factors, like cloudy days or wind gusts. This can help increase energy efficiency as well as minimize the cost of replacing any infrastructure.

In some cases, AI is already being implemented by renewable energy companies. For example, Texas-based company Innowatts has 21 million customers and uses machine learning to optimize energy usage. IBM’S own DeepMind AI platform has been used by Google to send over 700 megawatts of wind power to the center of the U.S. This much energy could power a small city. Even non-renewable energy companies are transitioning to using AI technology. ExxonMobil has recently partnered with IBM to use AI to try and optimize carbon capture.

While AI will not make renewable energy a completely hands-off process for our society, it will help to smooth the transition to using renewable energy. Some experts have even argued that we can’t transition to renewable energy without AI there to help. With the upgrades being made to AI, it will not be surprising if it continues to be applied to the renewable energy sector.

References:

Brian Allen 13. “How AI Is Accelerating the Transition to Renewable Energy.” ITProPortal, 13 July 2021.

Foulkes-Jones, Gareth. “The Rise of Artificial Intelligence in Renewable Energy – 2020 | Energy Central.” Energycentral.com, July 2020, energycentral.com/c/cp/rise-artificial-intelligence-renewable-energy-2020.

Kimani, Alex. “3 Ways Artificial Intelligence Is Transfo3 Ways Artificial Intelligence Is Transforming the Energy Industryrming the Energy Industry.” OilPrice.com, September 2020.

Lagarrigue, Emmanuel. “Why Artificial Intelligence Is Key to Renewable Energy Grid Resilience.” World Economic Forum, Mar. 2021.

Mary Shacklett et al. 2020. “How AI Can Help Boost Alternative and Renewable Energy Use.” TechRepublic, 21 Sept. 2020.

Image courtesy of Pixabay.com

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