How Artificial Intelligence is Changing the Energy Industry


Artificial Intelligence (AI) is changing the energy industry by helping us remain as accurate and energy efficient as possible. For those of you who haven’t brushed up on the latest AI tech trends, here’s a brief recap. Artificial intelligence is the development of computer systems to perform tasks that would normally require human intelligence such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, or language translation. While this may sound like the plot of a futuristic sci-fi movie, you have most likely interacted with AI already; weather that’s talking to Siri on your iPhone or streaming the new series Netflix recommended just for you. So how does AI translate into the energy industry? Here are a few key examples.

Energy Storage – Stem, a leading energy storage company, recognizes the tricky relationship between energy storage and grid usage. With key research and data, they found that 60 percent of a typical utility bill is linked to the time of day energy is being used. To save money and balance the energy grid, Stem created Athena, a virtual power plant that uses big data and machine learning to optimize the timing of energy use. They refer to Athena as the “brains behind the battery” because of its ability to adjust algorithms and accurately predict energy rates.

Grid Management – Just as AI integrates with our infrastructure to create smart cities; AI integrates with our energy grid to create smart grids. With the help of artificial intelligence, a smart grid accurately analyzes large data sets to effectively manage and stabilize the amount of energy on the grid. This becomes increasingly important as our energy generation diversifies to include more energy from renewables such as wind, solar, and hydroelectricity.

Energy consumption – One of the most notable integrations of AI and the energy industry is the smart learning thermostat such as a Nest or Ecobee. With the help of AI, a smart learning thermostat learns your behavior and automatically adjusts temperatures accordingly to save customers an average of 10 percent on electricity bills. Another example is Google’s solar mapping tool. Using electricity rates, 3D modeling, weather data, and shade calculations, Google’s Project Sunroof can determine if your home or office is a good candidate for solar all with the power of AI.

Energy forecasting – While generating power from renewable energy such as wind and solar is more efficient and sustainable, it can be difficult to predict the energy output of a wind or solar farm. For more accurate energy forecasting, the energy provider Xcel uses the National Center for Atmospheric Research’s AI data mining tool to collect and analyze weather reports and make accurate energy forecasting predictions.

While artificial intelligence is working to fine-tune the operations of the energy industry, you can take control of your energy consumption with energy efficiency. Learn how you can manage your energy use by contacting us at 312-265-3971 or