By Anders Lorenzen
Energy industry professionals gathered in London last month for the Financial Times annual Digital Energy Summit to discuss how to survive in an ever-changing energy landscape.
Michael Phelan, the Chief Executive at GridBeyond, a provider of energy services to large industrial and commercial clients, took to the stage and said that companies must embrace artificial intelligence (AI) if they are serious about decarbonisation.
GridBeyond, for instance, uses technology to balance the electricity grid, enabling the integration of more renewables, and delivering enhanced benefits to large energy consumers.
Phelan said: “The energy revolution has been fomenting for a decade, and we are now in the primary phase of action. Technological platforms, powered by AI and machine learning, support this revolution by driving the energy systems towards a cleaner, safer, more flexible and more resilient electricity grid. The increase in electricity demand from heat, electric vehicles, electrification of business operations and domestic lifestyles, combined with growing intermittent renewable energy sources, has meant that advanced technology is a necessity both in front of the meter and behind the meter”.
He explained further that energy consumers play a key role in the revolution of both the system and the market. “By taking control of their electricity usage, increasing energy efficiency, and participating in National Grid programmes to balance electricity supply and demand, highly advanced technological platforms enable large energy users to fully control their energy assets and embedded generation, improve production processes and predict and prevent system failures, whilst optimising savings and revenue opportunities”, he said.
GridBeyond is in a key expansion phase, moving beyond the British Isles and into the European and American market. The company says that their AI energy forecasting platform will make managing a company’s energy usage and demand much more simple by utilising balancing services, capacity, smart tariffs, energy trading, optimisation and peak avoidance into one unified platform.
With lots of new capacity of solar and wind being added all the time, there is an increased need to think and manage energy in a different way – something which GridBeyond and companies alike are keen to exploit. In the future, energy companies could do worse than to keep an eye on AI.