As many parts of the world are working towards higher environmental standards, more energy will be produced by decentralized, renewable sources. These sources come in the forms of wind farms, private solar panels, microgrids, and batteries.

This fragmentation of the energy sources will add complexity to the grid’s management. This will come in the form of millions of power sources, such as residential and commercial solar panels, that will be uploading power to the grid. And millions of more power sinks, such as electric vehicle charging stations, which will be pulling electricity from the grid. The system will require careful balancing to ensure that fluctuations in energy demands can be met with an equal supply.

It’s estimated that 36 million assets (solar panels, electric vehicles, batteries) will be added to Europe’s grid by 2025, and 89 million by 2030 [Source: Schneider Electric forecasts]

The global transition to renewable energy will need artificial intelligence technology to manage decentralized grids. With the help of AI software, decentralized energy sources can send any excess electricity they produce to the grid. Energy storage in industrial facilities, office buildings, homes, and cars can hold excess energy when demand is low. Then when power generation is inadequate or impossible, the AI software can deploy that power to where it’s needed.

The shift to an AI-controlled grid will enable real-time monitoring and forecasting as well as optimizing and coordinating the grid.

This will no doubt increase the demand for software jobs in the energy sector. Software developers and data scientists will be needed to create and manage the AI-powered software. Cybersecurity experts will also be in demand as the security of the grid and customer data will play a major role.

At the present time, the adoption of such a system hinges on the growth of decentralized energy nodes and the policymakers planning for the future of the infrastructure.

This news bite was adapted from an article originally written for WE Forum.

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