Artificial Intelligence Intersects with Renewable Energy


In his sixth post in the series, Marshall Kirkpatrick focuses on the intersection between artificial intelligence and renewable energy. By way of reminder, Marshall launched a 30 day series that explores the intersection between AI and the various innovation components on my emerging futures visual.

AI Intersects with Renewable Energy

As he has in each post, Marshall identifies the key subject matter experts that sit at the intersection of AI and the visual component in question. In the case of renewable energy, the key influencers are: Jim HarrisJoe NyangonLauri Kinnunen, and Ketan Joshi. Here is the foresight and related future scenarios identified at the intersection of Artificial Intelligence and renewable energy (taken straight from Marshall’s post):

AI-optimized energy systems: AI could be used for super-detailed modeling of energy use across buildings and in natural systems, including detailed predictions of passive solar capacity, wind speed, and building energy load. By decreasing unpredictability, efficiency and utilization of renewable energy would grow substantially

Leaps forward in solar: Neural networks could substantially improve the efficiency and reliability of photovoltaic energy capture, serving as a boost converter and driving the cost of solar power way down

Bill bots: Intelligent autonomous agents could negotiate energy prices for our homes and energy-consuming devices around the clock, removing hassle from billing and conservation but increasing privacy risks by making energy consumption data signatures accessible to 3rd parties.

This intersection is a critical step towards the enablement of an Energy Internet as described by economist Jeremy Rifkin. Rifkin looks at the energy component of a third industrial revolution platform in his book titled the Zero Marginal Cost Society. In it, he describes how Internet technology and renewable energies are merging to create an energy Internet that changes the way power is generated and distributed in society – a paradigm shift in energy similar to what occurred in computing. He describes an emergent system with synergies between five pillars that drive this paradigm shift:

  1. Shifting to renewable energy
  2. Transforming buildings into micro–power plants to collect renewable energies on-site
  3. Deploying hydrogen and other storage technologies to store intermittent energies
  4. Using Internet technology to transform the power grid into an energy Internet
  5. Transitioning the transport fleet to electric plug-in and fuel cell vehicles that can buy and sell green electricity on a smart, continental, interactive power grid

The intersection analysis that Marshall pursues via his posts is a great example of deriving the foresight required to navigate in this emerging future. The other posts in the series on AI and intersections can be found via the links below:

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