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The role of AI in the energy transition

The Rise of AI in Energy Management: Part One

  • Written by Taylor Harris
  • April 26, 2024
Crowds of people on the streets of New York City, USA

Population growth, urbanization, and technological advancements are driving today’s demand for energy. With the rise of renewable energy sources and the urgent need to combat climate change, the traditional electrical grid is undergoing a rapid transformation. Enter artificial intelligence (AI), the game-changing technology that is revolutionizing energy management and grid optimization like never before. Artificial intelligence is increasingly being integrated into energy management systems to enhance efficiency, reliability, and sustainability. By leveraging advanced algorithms and statistical models, AI helps utilities and energy providers make data-driven decisions, leading to smarter and more proactive grid operations. Part one of this blog series covers how AI applications are positioned to meet the pressing demands of the energy transition and move us toward a new era of efficiency.  

Predictive Maintenance

One of the key applications of AI in the energy sector is predictive maintenance. Imagine a bustling city that relies on an aging fleet of buses to transport thousands of commuters every day. Traditionally, maintenance checks are scheduled at regular intervals, leading to occasional breakdowns and disruptions in service. AI improves this process by analyzing vast amounts of data from sensors, equipment, and historical maintenance records to predict potential failures before they occur. By identifying early warning signs of equipment degradation, AI helps optimize maintenance schedules, minimize downtime, and extend the lifespan of critical assets.

Energy Forecasting

Accurate demand and generation forecasting — both short and long term are essential for ensuring the efficient allocation of resources and the reliable delivery of electricity. Consider a local utility responsible for supplying electricity to homes and businesses in a rapidly growing area. By harnessing AI-powered demand and generation forecasting, the utility accurately predicts energy spikes during peak hours like early evenings. This allows the utility to adjust generation and distribution to ensure there is enough power without straining the grid. Anticipating events like heatwaves, renewables such as solar and wind, often combined with energy storage, are deployed to maintain grid stability and provide reliable electricity for customers.

Grid Monitoring

Real-time grid monitoring is critical for maintaining grid stability and resilience. AI-driven monitoring systems continuously analyze data streams from sensors, smart meters, and other sources to detect anomalies. They detect and mitigate potential issues like cybersecurity attacks and system failures in real-time. By providing operators with actionable insights, AI empowers them to proactively address grid imbalances, voltage fluctuations, and other challenges, ensuring the reliable delivery of electricity to consumers.

The rise of AI in energy management is transforming the electrical grid into a smarter, more efficient, and sustainable infrastructure. AI empowers utilities and energy providers to optimize operations, reduce costs, and accelerate the transition to a clean energy future. As AI continues to evolve, its potential to revolutionize the energy sector is limitless, promising a clear path to lead energy in a positive direction.

Don't miss part two of this blog series by John Dirkman, P.E., VP of Product Management, showcasing Resource Innovations’ real-world AI applications that are transforming energy strategies and the clean energy transition.