AI 'Will Have a Significant Impact on Energy Industry,' EPRI Tells CongressAI 'Will Have a Significant Impact on Energy Industry,' EPRI Tells Congress
October 19, 2023
PALO ALTO, Calif., Oct. 19, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Artificial intelligence (AI) provides a powerful tool for energy companies to deliver an affordable, reliable clean energy transformation. Today before a U.S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee, EPRI Senior Technical Executive Jeremy Renshaw testified that parties need to collectively work on addressing today's AI challenges and tomorrow's opportunities.
For more than a decade, EPRI has been studying AI and its potential impacts on the energy sector, and in the last five years, the institute has accelerated its activities around AI and data science. To date, EPRI has been involved in more than 70 projects related to AI applications in the energy sector.
As EPRI research has found, AI can help energy companies improve efficiency of existing assets, assist with wildfire risk evaluation and early-stage detection, aid vegetation management and storm recovery, and optimize energy usage, among other benefits.
"AI allows computers and humans to interact more effectively to improve safety and reliability while reducing costs," Renshaw testified before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy, Climate, and Grid Security. "This is done by allowing humans to do what humans do best - creative thinking and dealing with new or unforeseen situations, while computers do what computers do best - rapid, accurate computations," he said.
"While AI has come a long way in a short amount of time, there are still many more opportunities to solve existing challenges today, as well as considerations for ethical and responsible use of AI," Renshaw noted. Among pressing considerations:
Data privacy and security: AI models are typically trained on large datasets, which may contain personally identifiable information or other sensitive data. Steps should be taken to ensure the security and privacy of the data.
AI-assisted cybersecurity: EPRI and other companies are developing tools to proactively monitor and address suspicious cyber-related activity.
Data: Without sufficient quantity and quality of data, AI systems can potentially produce erroneous results that can be used in decision-making processes.
Workforce training: People need to be trained on how and when AI is the right tool to use and when it is not.
"Clearly, AI will have a significant impact on the energy industry, likely both positive and negative. It is anticipated that, through the introduction of AI, utilities will be able to utilize its benefits for maintaining or improving safety, affordability, reliability, efficiency, and environmentally friendly energy production," Renshaw concluded.
Founded in 1972, EPRI is the world's preeminent independent, non-profit energy research and development organization, with offices around the world. EPRI's trusted experts collaborate with more than 450 companies in 45 countries, driving innovation to ensure the public has clean, safe, reliable, affordable, and equitable access to electricity across the globe. Together, we are shaping the future of energy.
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