In an analysis, the Deutsche Energie-Agentur (dena) – the German Energy Agency – describes nine specific fields of application for artificial intelligence (AI) in the integrated energy transition. According to the analysis, AI shows par-ticular promise in improving the forecasting of energy production and consumption. The technology can, for example, help to integrate renewable energies and improve the stability of the energy system. Other key fields of application mentioned in the analysis are the optimisation of the operation of power plants and energy infrastructures, as well as support for investment and strategic business decisions. The analysis originated from the dena-project “EnerKI - Using Artificial Intelligence to Optimise the Energy System”.
Andreas Kuhlmann, Chief Executive of dena, explains: “Artificial intelligence can be used in various ways in all sectors of the energy industry, and so it is vitally important for the integrated energy transition. AI stands for the opportunity to master the complexity of a decentralised and integrated energy transition through state-of-the-art technology. In the future, AI algorithms will make a significant contribution to a secure, climate-friendly and cost-efficient energy supply. However, the energy industry must approach the matter strategically, accumulating know-how, developing human resources and devising viable business models.”
According to the dena report, a further field of application for AI is in the identification of cyberattacks on critical infrastructures such as power plants and grids. AI enables us to identify salient patterns in digital processes involved in the production, transport, trade or consumption of energy. According to data from the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI), there were more than four times as many attacks on critical infrastructures in 2018 as there were in the previous year. Around twelve per cent of those were targeted at electricity grids.
Among the benefits for private households that have their own generating systems and storage is that AI enables more efficient and therefore less expensive energy use, while making it easier to sell surplus energy on the electricity market. This is based on the analysis of production and consumption data. Moreover, AI, possibly combined with the use of drones, can be used for the proactive maintenance of power plants and infrastructures.
dena presented the analysis at a conference on 24 September in conjunction with the French Embassy in Berlin. Around 200 experts from businesses, research institutes, politics and other associations met to discuss the results of the report and the potential of AI for the energy transition.
About dena’s EnerKI project
Since the launch of the project “EnerKI –Using Artificial Intelligence to Optimise the Energy System” at the beginning of 2019, dena has been expanding the knowledge of AI within the energy industry. The aim is to gauge the potential of AI for the energy transition, initiate a broad dialogue among the relevant stakeholders and make the findings availa-ble to them. There are plans for further conferences, expert workshops, another analytical report and a metastudy by mid-2020. The project is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi).