When it comes to the demand and supply of energy in general, we are standing at a crossroads. With a nation that has increasing needs regarding energy, with time more of it will be produced in a decentralised manner. For instance, the use of wind farms, microgrids and private solar panels produce energy for their own needs. However great the idea seems from the point of view of sustainability, they make things increasingly complex across energy grids across the country. Even now, with the gradual advent of electric vehicles, the electrifications of heating/cooling systems and other such advances towards energy requirement, we will need to attain a balance to match supply to demand, while keeping the grid functional.
Why Is AI Needed For The Grid’s Future?
In other parts of the world, as far as energy generation is concerned, the governments, businesses, as well as residential consumers, increasingly produce their own energy through renewable sources, utilising storage such as batteries to feed them back to the grid. In Europe, 36 million assets including private solar panels, electric vehicles and energy storage are to be added to the grid by 2025, and 89 million by the year 2030. Unfortunately, with so many individual assets sharing their electricity with the grids, it could cause problems on a huge scale.
This is one good reason why we should gradually shift our reliance on a central utility to generate and share energy. Accommodating this, even power utilities will need to change their business models accordingly. After all, in the future, it won’t be just power utilities that create electricity for the country. As such, we will need to maintain a balanced grid, shifting energy from different sources and storage systems to ensure a smooth and seamless distribution of energy for emergency requirements.
Artificial Intelligence Can Do Better
All of that could positively change with the help of Artificial Intelligence enabled systems. An AI-enabled software system could bring together the decentralized energy source which can trade any excess electricity to the grid. In a similar manner, energy storage in facilities across the country, consisting of industrial facilities, office buildings, residential buildings, and cars can hold excess energy when the demand is low. With such storage facilities, it can make sure that energy management is utilised even while energy is generated for later use. The AI-enabled system can decide to supply the grid with power when generation is impossible or not enough. This could save on energy on both sides – by discouraging wastage of energy generated privately, and by enabling the grid to supply electricity with more stability.
As a result, an AI guided grid potentially positively changes everything. By making use of AI to control a centralised grid, we can predict and control the flow of power within seconds, which will result in a grid that is more efficient, resilient and flexible. At NTPC School of Business, we believe that using AI and software can lead to an increasingly reliable and sustainable grid to empower all of India seamlessly, in the future. For more such thoughts on energy management, sustainability and innovation, do visit us again.