Artificial Intelligence is a computer intelligence that imitates human intellect and machine learning. It is present in modern smartphones, at-home personal assistants and is also featured in early driverless cars. AI has certainly come a long way.
AI can have hundreds of functions and the most prominent use for the energy sector is applying artificial intelligence to collate and progress data for utility managers to make efficient and informed decisions.
AI can help utility managers to understand how they can use their data to identify and understand consumption trends and automatically fine-tune systems to ensure the optimum level of efficiency.
The expansion of AI within the energy industry will mean that utility managers of the future will have the ability to see the whole market at a glance at any moment, enabling them to make informed decisions on their energy consumption.
The sheer amount of data that utility managers often need to analyse can be difficult to digest however, with the implementation of AI, the data can be examined quickly and thoroughly with the help of additional technologies.
Blockchain is a ‘chain’ of data that can be updated across a number of ‘nodes’ or computers at the same time, much like editing a document or spreadsheet online. The users can see what is being updated in real-time.
The Internet of Things (IoT), is a network of physical devices and other items which include software enabling these objects to collect and exchange data. These both play a part into how AI can help utility managers.
As a new wave of technology, AI can be implemented into energy assets such as solar panels or battery storage and from there, can collate and analyse the data the asset is receiving and use it to help utility managers’ run their business more efficiently than before.
This can include identifying where savings opportunities can be made from generation to understanding the energy invoice and billing accuracy, opportunities for strategy optimisation and even helping to manage energy procurement for a much lower cost.
What will the future of AI look like?
AI has the power of intelligence which will help deliver the optimum energy management strategy required to keep up with future targets.
It will assist utility managers with renewables management and demand-side response in addition to infrastructure management. The authoritative intelligence of AI will support balancing the grid, managing power demand and be able to produce real-time predictions on consumption.
Utility managers will be able to instantly react to demand response opportunities and it will mean that utility managers no longer need to manually crawl through alerts to identify actions.
Paving the way for the future of utilities, the utility manager of tomorrow will need to keep up to date with technologies, skills and training, and adopt innovative technologies to become an early adopter of AI.
The role of the utility manager is set to become a digitally-savvy, data scientist with a more senior role within the business, and will need to be able to take the necessary steps to broach the subject of AI within energy.