The global energy industry is facing fundamental shifts in the way it generates, sells and distributes power. The pressure is on to cut carbon emissions and, as a result, methods must be found to manage the increasing gigawatts of unpredictable, weather-dependent renewable energy flowing on to power grids. By using Artificial Intelligence we can create forecasts for electricity demand, for generation and weather by lessen the need for these backup mechanisms by predicting and managing fluctuations in production.
AI research is investigating decision-making with a scale and complexity that begin to exceed that manageable by a human operator. Ceding control of your home to a remote AI might seem like the stuff of science fiction, but the integration of AI into our appliances is already underway. For example, AI is being used to manage energy use in a device most of us use every day — mobile phones. The latest iteration of Google’s Android phone operating system includes a function which studies your app habits to ensure battery is deployed only on the ones you like the most.
The use of AI enables the consumer to have foresight over their energy profile for the first time. AI can now also work out how much electricity each of your home appliances is using, too. Home appliance manufacturers will come under increasing pressure to produce energy-efficient products. With access to exactly what it costs to run a dishwasher or TV, consumers could rapidly become disenchanted with power-high devices. AI and energy will be about reshaping the relationship between consumer and supplier.