Predicting Peaks reliably

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The National Grid has confirmed that it is in the “earliest stages” of discussions exploring the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI), which could potentially maximise the use of renewable energy by predicting peaks in demand across the UK. Although the discussions are still in the early stages, DeepMind believes that predictive machine learning could boost the use of renewables by more accurately predicting demand and supply The National Grid, which operates and owns the infrastructure that transports electricity across the UK, has seen its ability in balancing and stabilising the grid challenged in recent years as intermittent renewables such as solar and the wind have been fed into the energy mix.

Decarbonisation has its challenges

While the introduction of renewables into the mix forms a key role in both national and European legislation to decarbonise the grid, concerns have been raised as to the National Grid’s ability to deal with fluctuating wind and solar resources, which can sometimes produce more energy than the system can cope with. Energy storage and demand response initiatives, whereby businesses either store surplus energy or increase or reduce energy consumption based on demand, are being incorporated by the National Grid, which is now “exploring what opportunities” AI could offer to balance the situation.

SwissCognitive LogoAI to help avoid energy waste

The National Grid revealed that it is in discussions with the UK-based AI company DeepMind about introducing new technologies to help balance the grid and improve the use of renewables. DeepMind technology has already been used in Google’s data centres to cut energy by 40%. “We are always excited to look at how the latest advances in technology can bring improvements in our performance, ensure we are making the best use of renewable energy, and help save money for bill payers,” a spokesperson for National Grid said. “We are in the very early stages of looking at the potential of working with DeepMind and exploring what opportunities they could offer for us.” DeepMind’s machine learning algorithms are able to predict the temperature and pressure outputs within data centres 60 minutes in advance, and the company has suggested that the technology could accurately predict demand patterns in the UK. The National Grid had to battle with fluctuating demands last summer, when it anticipated that electricity demand would hit a record low of around 35.7GW, despite electricity generation hitting 67.4GW in the build-up […]

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