Artificial Intelligence And Renewable Energy

In Clean Facts, News, Renewable Energy, Technology

The U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA) defines renewable energy as an energy source that naturally regenerates, such as solar or wind. In contrast, fossil fuels are considered finite.

Despite the increasing use of renewables which notably became the leading global source of electricity in 2015, there are still persistent barriers to wider implementation related to policy and technology.

Renewable energy technologies have incorporate Artificial Intelligence(AI) in three major categories :

  • Energy Forecasting  – Industry data is used to train AI algorithms to make accurate forecasts, helping to inform power supply and demand
  • Energy Efficiency AI is used to track and optimize how energy efficiency
  • Energy Accessibility – AI is used to model utility cost savings and provide recommendations for smart home investments

AI for Energy Forecasting

In Colorado, energy provider Xcel is implementing AI in an attempt to address the consistent challenge of unreliability that plagues renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power. The AI system mines a combination of data from local satellite reports through the National Center for Atmospheric Research, weather stations as well as wind farms in the surrounding area. The algorithms driving the system are trained to identify patterns within these data sets and make predictions based on those data points.

Xcel reports that wind power has doubled in Colorado since 2009. Earlier this year, Xcel reported plans to expand its wind farms by 50 percent by the year 2021.

AI for Energy Efficiency

Founded in 2011, California-based Verdigris Technologies offers a cloud-based software platform that claims to leverage artificial intelligence to help clients optimize energy consumption. Designed for large commercial buildings and managers of enterprise facilities, the process begins with installation of IoT hardware.

Smart sensors are directly attached to the client’s electrical circuits to track energy consumption. The data captured by the sensors is sent to the cloud and is presented to the client on a dashboard which is accessible online 24/7.

AI for Energy Accessibility

PowerScout reportedly uses AI to model potential savings on utility costs using industry data. The company reportedly leverages data analytics to identify “smart home improvement projects” based on the unique features and energy usage in a client’s home.

Essentially, the AI acts as a marketplace advisor, providing recommendations to help clients make informed decisions regarding to make renewable energy technologies purchases for their homes.

The development team claims the platform has collectively overseen the installation of solar capacity roughly equivalent to powering 250,000 homes as of March 2017.

Artificial intelligence is being integrated across renewable energy sector therefore, AI-driven energy forecasting platforms may hold promise for providing energy suppliers with the data required to respond to fluctuations that may negatively affect operations and to plan accordingly.

 

 

Reference- ScienceDirect, TechEmergence

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