M Bansal


AI: A Promising Progression for Renewable Energy Sector

AI : A Promising Progression for Renewable Energy Sector

While it is almost impossible to tell by when, it is for sure that fossil fuels will stop fulfilling our energy needs. The most reliable alternative to this is “renewable energy”, however, even with huge progress, we still have to face some daunting challenges.

Amongst all the renewable sources, solar and wind energy are the leading ones. But climate change is making them unpredictable. With major industry players continually trying to cater to the need for cheap, clean and reliable energy, technologies like Artifical Intelligence and Machine Learning are providing solutions for Industries difficulties. In this article, I am going to talk about how AI is contributing its part in RE:

Weather Forecast

The main challenge connected to RE sources like solar and wind energy is Weather. Be it slow wind speed because of high pressure or no sunlight due to a cloudy day, these conditions considerably affect energy generation. One way to overcome this is storage technology but it’s yet far from where it should be. Energy providers are also getting help from AI to develop software and models for weather change predictions.

Google and DeepMind are already doing great progress in this field. They were able to improve efficiency by 20 percent, using their neural network with the weather forecast and turbine data. In the words of Google’s Carbon Free Energy program lead Will Fadrhonc: “This approach also helps bring greater data rigor to wind farm operations, as machine learning and AI can help wind farm operators make smarter, faster and more data-driven assessments of how their power output can meet electricity demand.”

Intelligent Energy Storage

Without any doubts, storage technology is very helpful to solve problems related to the seasonal nature of Wind or Solar energy sources. But, due to the chaotic and periodic dynamics of these sources on both demand and supply side, battery hardware alone can’t bring true energy values. The situation is so complex that a simple solution can’t be the savior. We need proper control over production-consumption and energy storage and that is only possible through sophisticated software. This is where Artificial Intelligence is required again. By pairing RE with AI-driven storage we can make a change in paradigm.

Integration of microgrids:

The way of handling distributed energy goes through a broad acceptance of microgrids. Putting the community-level RE generation (in bigger numbers) is creating a challenge to balance energy flow within that particular grid. However, AI-powered control optimization can solve power quality issues and congestion. AI technologies will be ultimately an integral
part of the transition in the future revolutions. Intelligent Multi agent Systems and Adaptive Dynamic Programming (AI algorithms) can provide real-time control over the dynamic nature of the grid below the substation autonomous controls. These AI algorithms can also help to improve system optimization as new devices and new generation sources are integrated.

The Other Benefits of AI:

AI, Machine learning and Big data are collectively seen as a revolution in the automation of advanced analytics, IT and business processes. In the same way, AI can help the RE industry to gain future goals. According to a report published by Infosys: “48% of energy and utility sector agree that AI is fundamental to their organizations’ success and 46% say their organizations are building AI into the company ethos.” Here are some other benefits that AI is fulfilling for RE and utility industry :

Dependability — Ensuring efficient usage & storage of other RE resources, Smart grids and improving operations management

Supporting the advancement of smart applications that can autonomously make right decisions based on data and learning.

Enabling software applications to examine large data structures, detecting anomalies, identifying patterns and making precise predictions

The interface between Artificial Intelligence and RE is an excellent combo. Technological advancements are radically changing our thinking about these two. Though their integration is still in starting days, we can hope for a resilient and Smart Grid. It will definitely open new opportunities while developing its sustainability… towards a better future.

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