Every year, the demand for energy in India grows by 10%. This is not new and has been happening for the last decade. The rise in energy demand is apparent, thanks to the economic growth of the country. The urbanization also seems to play a crucial role in high demand for energy. Not only the population of the cities will grow a staggering 175 million by 2030.
Not only that, there are other issues such as carbon emission, infrastructure cost, etc. that needs to be tackled. The International Energy Agency released a detailed report on the challenges that India is currently going through in energy management. It included issues related to all forms of energy production including nuclear, coal, and another type of energy production methods.
Solution to Increased Energy Demand
The only way to counter the needed growth and increased demand for the energy is renewable energy. It seems to fill the shoes of the traditional energy creation process including gas and coal-fired power plants.
According to the study done by the IRENA’s REmap programme, the demand will outgrow production if renewable energy is not used. They also stated that India leads in the department of energy transformation. Also, by 2030, renewable energy will generate over 1/3rd of total energy.
Even Dolf Gielen, the director of Innovation and Technology at IRENA, added, “Balancing economic growth and development, environmental protection, and energy security is a real challenge in India that can be tackled by enabling more renewable energy deployment.”
Renewable energy is the number one choice because it is eco-friendly and leaves less carbon footprint compared to other forms of energy. Right now, we are poised at the perfect time to leverage renewable energy as it will improve energy management and also fit well with our environment.
Artificial Intelligence Can Make It Even Better
Even though renewable energy is the best approach in the current scenario, it is not as consistent compared to other ways of energy generation. This leads us to find a solution for solving the efficiency of renewable energy including the cost associated with it.
Artificial intelligence(AI) can change how we create cheap, clean and renewable energy. The application of AI is far-fetched than most of us might have thought. It can play a major role in renewable energy capture.
So, how can AI help? Let’s explore.
The biggest issue with the renewable energy is its inconsistency. As it is collected from renewable sources such as wind, rain, sunlight, etc., any hindrance in weather will cut to half or even lower. This can lead to power shortfalls. Also, there is an equal possibility of generating too much energy. To ensure that energy is not wasted, energy storage infrastructure needs to setup which in turn adds cost to the energy creation process.
AI to forecast energy management
Artificial intelligence is completely capable of forecasting energy production and its demand. By doing this, the need for backups will be reduced to minimal levels, increasing production value and efficiency.
For example, an AI system can quickly route the energy to more demanding areas to ensure that no electricity shortfalls happen. A more specific example would include turning off a home appliance in a large area which is not in use and re-route it to a more demanding place such as a hospital or better an industrial plant. This can be applied heavily in urban areas, especially in India.
Energy Saving Decisions
To ensure that everything goes the way we want, we need, “Advanced AI.” However, the path to achieving the required change has already been started. Android, for example, uses AI to know how you utilize your smartphone and fine-tune your battery for maximum output. It will simply run at maximum capacity on apps which you use frequently. However, the AI will know when to turn off background apps that you rarely use.
The same approach can be taken to the home appliance where AI will control when and how to run the application.
AI can play a crucial role in optimizing supply. Predix is a solution developed by General Electric(GE) that controls how much electricity should be provided to the machines so that maximum efficiency is maintained. It also predicts failures.
Roadmap and Policy
The use of AI in the energy sector has already been started. Along with AI, data science and big data will also play a major role in defining how it will be used. The NITI Aayog report on India’s renewable electricity roadmap 2030 mention how important it is to implement a well laid out plan for the renewable energy. They also created a roadmap for National AI Program. However, there is no clear roadmap on the use of AI in the energy sector as of now.
The government needs to understand the impact of AI right now and soon need to take proper steps for the better future. Similarly, policies need to be created to ensure that industries, communities and other business implement AI correctly and connect it with their energy management solutions. If done correctly, we will soon see a transformation in how India manages energy in future.
Energy management has always been an important topic among reformers, government, and companies. With proper approach including new business models, infrastructure, and implementation, AI can truly transform how energy management works.
Right now, India requires an AI strategy that works in both urban and non-urban areas. Cities especially can utilize AI as it will help create energy profiles of consumers. The energy profiles will help companies create electronics that save energy optimally. Also, it will also help individuals understand their carbon footprint and improve their energy usage.
However, not everything is perfect when AI is used for energy management. Hackers can manage to hack into the networks managed by the AI. The grid once automated also opens up vulnerability points which need to be fixed as the time passes. But, the good news is that with time, the AI will be able to protect itself from intruders.