Renewable energy has come a long way since power panels and struggling with batteries. Storage has long been the main barrier between energy independence, and as battery systems become more reliable, it’s time to see what other great changes will come from the future.
Artificial Intelligence Supports the Microgrid Revolution
Microgrids are smaller, more compact energy grids similar to the large grid systems that power entire countries. If you’ve ever heard of the massive risks associated with one big threat taking out “the electrical grid”, rest assured that you’re hearing bad rumors and Hollywood disaster myths.
Versatility is here, and it’s been in the making for quite some time. It makes sense when you think about how businesses, assets, and technology are spread; it’s hard to actually connect massive connections of wires, and nations only did that because it was the only reliable, controlled way to generate power with what as available.
With microgrids in place, Artificial Intelligence (AI) can drive even greater advances in management and quality control. Area-specific settings, gathering information that could affect power output and use, and even customer service can be enhanced with AI and machine-learning.
Renewable energy often depends on storage, and gathering information about how energy is used and stored will change everything. AI isn’t just about automated controls; gathering information about how systems perform and how to improve is a much bigger benefit of AI than automated master controls.
Of course, there will always be concerns about giving AI too much control. While valid, the worst nightmares of non-technical people are as outdated as relying on a single energy grid; manual control already exists, security is always a concern, and progress comes with risks that need to be tackled by those ready to take real action.
Blockchain in the Energy Sector
Renewable energy is on the rise, and many customers are able to provide more energy than they use. It was an exciting time–at least, until these customers discovered that the power companies wouldn’t buy all of their energy with open arms.
Not good news to people looking to eradicate energy bills complete, but it’s not a surprising business restriction. Blockchain concepts–although usually discussed when looking at cryptocurrency like Bitcoin–will change the utility market.
Along with microgrids, renewable energy consumers and producers will have a power, financial, and eventually administrative set of systems to buy and sell energy. As energy storage becomes more reliable, it will be a simple matter of sending storage and connection systems to customers for trading among themselves.
As with anything, the potential for wrongdoing is obvious. Any use of technology can be hacked and hijacked, but any exploit can be secured. Even better, technologies given the chance to grow can become so robust that hacks become nothing more than a nuisance.
Did someone tap into your power grid and turn off your lights? Go manual. Are you being harassed or treated unfairly by a rural power magnate? Get on a bigger grid until you can figure something out. There will always be exceptions to the rule, but solutions won’t happen if the world doesn’t explore in the first place.