Energy is a critical factor in any industry or nation’s development; efficient methods of producing and supplying uninterrupted energy at a lower cost are a must for sustainable economic growth. Hence innovative technologies that reduce energy losses and make the energy sector more efficient by delivering smooth flow over several energy inputs or sources of energy are the need of the day. The power and Energy sector is constantly bombarded with the challenge of supplying increased bulk amounts of efficient, environmentally friendly, easy-to-handle low-cost energy that can be transported without heavy transmitting losses. So this industry heavily depends on investments in relevant scientific research and development. The traditional outlook of innovation in this sector ( closed innovation) has been replaced by the new ideology called Open Innovation (OI). This helped the energy industry harness huge revenue in the last decade.
To face the growing energy demand, extensive research was done on variable renewable energy (VRE) resources, which eventually led to disruptive innovations in harnessing energy from sources like ‘bioenergy,’’ pulp and paper’, ‘wind’ etc. The share of Global Energy Generation through renewables has gone up to 23.2%, according to the IEA report.
Technology innovations in Smart grids
The deep penetration of ever-developing information technology in the energy sector has led to introducing and enhancing smart grids. Grave Environmental concerns related to energy generation and transmission have met with some respite after developing smart grids. The global smart grid investments were USD 270 billion in 2019 and will go beyond USD 290 billion by 2021. Technology disruptions in the field of smart grids have witnessed the incubation and growth of technologies like ‘ distributed generation and microgrids.
Energy policies across different regions also play an important role in the research, development, and implementation of new technologies in the energy sector. ‘ Decorbonbated Energy’ should be the future goal of all developing nations. Keeping this goal at the center of research and development, countries are now trying to develop more and more ‘Smart Cities’ which have renewable energy sources and run with AI-powered smart energy networks. The challenges large industries and businesses face to reach sustainability goals keeping in view the biggest challenge, i.e., the least environmental impact, can in a large way be overcome by using 5G networks and AI-powered networks in energy and power industries.
Big Data and AI technologies in the energy sector
The role of AI and Big Data in ‘predictive maintenance’ and ‘efficiency boosting’ in the energy sector is a promising area of research for the ever-increasing demand for energy.
The integration of variable energy sources, especially renewable energy sources, energy supply, and the demand for smart and intelligent digital circuits that can analyze and act automatically, can be achieved through AI-based neural networks. According to the report by ScienceDirect’s Journal of Cleaner Production,’ AI has the enormous power to integrate IoT with renewables and can do a remarkable make-over to the existing energy sectors. The Energy industries after the AI deployment may be called ‘ smart energy industries ‘ with sophisticated power electronics, supercomputers, etc. According to the report ‘ The United States Power Policy 2018’ on four crucial objectives for AI development, ‘The Government of UAE: 2017 ’ wishes to promote research and implementation of AI in many sectors, including renewable energy. Many other developed and developing countries followed forte and started investing in the deployment of AI in the energy industry.
Big data and AI applications:
According to the ‘ Journal of Big Data’ published by Springer, the power systems that incorporate multimedia technologies in power dispatching and communication systems become more stable and reliable. The implementation of big data in power systems has also proven to make accurate predictions and improve evaluation efficiency.
A case study of China’s coal-fired power industry on energy conservation potentials using the latest technology: Energy policy.
This study integrates the ‘ Conservation Supply Curve Approach (CSC)’ and ‘ Break Even Analysis’ to arrive at a definitive analysis of the benefits of 32 new technologies in coal-fired power industries. According to this research paper, there is a conservation potential of 275.77 Mt with a cost of 238.82 billion yuan if these 32 new technologies are used in the coal-fired power industry.
New technologies like AI, Big Data, and more are redefining the meaning of efficient power generation. With the demand for renewable power increasing rapidly throughout the world every day, minimizing power losses during power generation and transmission has become the primary goal of all the stakeholders involved in this industry. Predictive models of power networks using AI and Big Data which can accurately predict sudden power losses and discrepancies, are becoming the need of the hour. Raising Environmental concerns vowing to the growing demand for power renewables can be put to rest by using intelligent technologies like AI-powered neural networks and 5G in the power industry.