Tech giants like DeepMind can play big role in grid

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Ilaria Valtimora
March 20, 2017
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Tech giants like DeepMind can play big role in grid

Artificial Intelligence is coming to the UK grid.

Google's artificial intelligence company, DeepMind, has developed an algorithm that has enabled Google to cut the amount of energy used by its data centres by 40% and to cut the data centres’ overall electricity consumption by 15%. In short, it tracks a huge amount of data, including how much energy is being used at any given time by servers and any other equipment, to anticipate energy demand and supply and match them.

DeepMind is now thinking about whether it could develop a similar algorithm to improve the UK’s electricity system: "We think there's no reason why you can't think of a whole national grid of a country in the same way as you can the data centres," Demis Hassabis, DeepMind’s chief executive, told the Financial Times.

DeepMind is a London-based artificial intelligence firm, founded in 2010, which specialises in machine learning, advanced logarithms and systems neuroscience. In 2014, Google bought the business for £400m. The company is now in talks with the UK’s National Grid about how to use artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyse energy supply and demand in order to help the country to balance its energy needs.

"It would be amazing if you could save 10% of the country's energy usage without any new infrastructure, just from optimisation. That's pretty exciting," Hassabis said.

How does this translate to its work with National Grid?

In this case millions of pieces of data, from TV viewing trends to weather forecasts, would be used to predict peaks and falls in demand. In fact, DeepMind thinks that its self-learning algorithm could learn from these data how to predict demand placed on the UK’s grid, and therefore help to deal with it.

Specifically, DeepMind’s aim is to help the National Grid to utilise renewable energy sources in the most efficient way possible. The algorithm would help to optimise output from power stations and other more intermittent power sources, such as wind farms.

The technology is fascinating as it could enable the grid to cope with larger wind capacity, and could help support the growth of wind in the UK. It would also reduce the need to keep polluting power capacity online to manage intermittency.

The UK Government has declared that the main reason it keeps providing subsidies to coal power plants is to avoid power shortfalls when there is little wind or sun. Hence, a better management of the grid would possibly enable the government reduce its incentives to polluting power stations, while supporting more renewables like onshore wind. This could help open up more investment opportunities in the UK for wind developers and others.

In addition, this partnership shows an evolution in the amount of focus large tech companies are putting on renewable energy.

Big companies are interested in being involved in renewables because they want to achieve their own sustainability goals, but it is more than that. They are experienced in using technology to match supply with demand, and that knowledge could give them an edge when it comes to running an electricity grid. This could mean lucrative contracts in helping them to manage the grid.

DeepMind and National Grid are still at the very early stages here, but the business proposition is intriguing. As grids become smarter, AI could be a game changer in the UK wind industry.

Artificial Intelligence is coming to the UK grid.

Google's artificial intelligence company, DeepMind, has developed an algorithm that has enabled Google to cut the amount of energy used by its data centres by 40% and to cut the data centres’ overall electricity consumption by 15%. In short, it tracks a huge amount of data, including how much energy is being used at any given time by servers and any other equipment, to anticipate energy demand and supply and match them.

DeepMind is now thinking about whether it could develop a similar algorithm to improve the UK’s electricity system: "We think there's no reason why you can't think of a whole national grid of a country in the same way as you can the data centres," Demis Hassabis, DeepMind’s chief executive, told the Financial Times.

DeepMind is a London-based artificial intelligence firm, founded in 2010, which specialises in machine learning, advanced logarithms and systems neuroscience. In 2014, Google bought the business for £400m. The company is now in talks with the UK’s National Grid about how to use artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyse energy supply and demand in order to help the country to balance its energy needs.

"It would be amazing if you could save 10% of the country's energy usage without any new infrastructure, just from optimisation. That's pretty exciting," Hassabis said.

How does this translate to its work with National Grid?

In this case millions of pieces of data, from TV viewing trends to weather forecasts, would be used to predict peaks and falls in demand. In fact, DeepMind thinks that its self-learning algorithm could learn from these data how to predict demand placed on the UK’s grid, and therefore help to deal with it.

Specifically, DeepMind’s aim is to help the National Grid to utilise renewable energy sources in the most efficient way possible. The algorithm would help to optimise output from power stations and other more intermittent power sources, such as wind farms.

The technology is fascinating as it could enable the grid to cope with larger wind capacity, and could help support the growth of wind in the UK. It would also reduce the need to keep polluting power capacity online to manage intermittency.

The UK Government has declared that the main reason it keeps providing subsidies to coal power plants is to avoid power shortfalls when there is little wind or sun. Hence, a better management of the grid would possibly enable the government reduce its incentives to polluting power stations, while supporting more renewables like onshore wind. This could help open up more investment opportunities in the UK for wind developers and others.

In addition, this partnership shows an evolution in the amount of focus large tech companies are putting on renewable energy.

Big companies are interested in being involved in renewables because they want to achieve their own sustainability goals, but it is more than that. They are experienced in using technology to match supply with demand, and that knowledge could give them an edge when it comes to running an electricity grid. This could mean lucrative contracts in helping them to manage the grid.

DeepMind and National Grid are still at the very early stages here, but the business proposition is intriguing. As grids become smarter, AI could be a game changer in the UK wind industry.

Artificial Intelligence is coming to the UK grid.

Google's artificial intelligence company, DeepMind, has developed an algorithm that has enabled Google to cut the amount of energy used by its data centres by 40% and to cut the data centres’ overall electricity consumption by 15%. In short, it tracks a huge amount of data, including how much energy is being used at any given time by servers and any other equipment, to anticipate energy demand and supply and match them.

DeepMind is now thinking about whether it could develop a similar algorithm to improve the UK’s electricity system: "We think there's no reason why you can't think of a whole national grid of a country in the same way as you can the data centres," Demis Hassabis, DeepMind’s chief executive, told the Financial Times.

DeepMind is a London-based artificial intelligence firm, founded in 2010, which specialises in machine learning, advanced logarithms and systems neuroscience. In 2014, Google bought the business for £400m. The company is now in talks with the UK’s National Grid about how to use artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyse energy supply and demand in order to help the country to balance its energy needs.

"It would be amazing if you could save 10% of the country's energy usage without any new infrastructure, just from optimisation. That's pretty exciting," Hassabis said.

How does this translate to its work with National Grid?

In this case millions of pieces of data, from TV viewing trends to weather forecasts, would be used to predict peaks and falls in demand. In fact, DeepMind thinks that its self-learning algorithm could learn from these data how to predict demand placed on the UK’s grid, and therefore help to deal with it.

Specifically, DeepMind’s aim is to help the National Grid to utilise renewable energy sources in the most efficient way possible. The algorithm would help to optimise output from power stations and other more intermittent power sources, such as wind farms.

The technology is fascinating as it could enable the grid to cope with larger wind capacity, and could help support the growth of wind in the UK. It would also reduce the need to keep polluting power capacity online to manage intermittency.

The UK Government has declared that the main reason it keeps providing subsidies to coal power plants is to avoid power shortfalls when there is little wind or sun. Hence, a better management of the grid would possibly enable the government reduce its incentives to polluting power stations, while supporting more renewables like onshore wind. This could help open up more investment opportunities in the UK for wind developers and others.

In addition, this partnership shows an evolution in the amount of focus large tech companies are putting on renewable energy.

Big companies are interested in being involved in renewables because they want to achieve their own sustainability goals, but it is more than that. They are experienced in using technology to match supply with demand, and that knowledge could give them an edge when it comes to running an electricity grid. This could mean lucrative contracts in helping them to manage the grid.

DeepMind and National Grid are still at the very early stages here, but the business proposition is intriguing. As grids become smarter, AI could be a game changer in the UK wind industry.

Artificial Intelligence is coming to the UK grid.

Google's artificial intelligence company, DeepMind, has developed an algorithm that has enabled Google to cut the amount of energy used by its data centres by 40% and to cut the data centres’ overall electricity consumption by 15%. In short, it tracks a huge amount of data, including how much energy is being used at any given time by servers and any other equipment, to anticipate energy demand and supply and match them.

DeepMind is now thinking about whether it could develop a similar algorithm to improve the UK’s electricity system: "We think there's no reason why you can't think of a whole national grid of a country in the same way as you can the data centres," Demis Hassabis, DeepMind’s chief executive, told the Financial Times.

DeepMind is a London-based artificial intelligence firm, founded in 2010, which specialises in machine learning, advanced logarithms and systems neuroscience. In 2014, Google bought the business for £400m. The company is now in talks with the UK’s National Grid about how to use artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyse energy supply and demand in order to help the country to balance its energy needs.

"It would be amazing if you could save 10% of the country's energy usage without any new infrastructure, just from optimisation. That's pretty exciting," Hassabis said.

How does this translate to its work with National Grid?

In this case millions of pieces of data, from TV viewing trends to weather forecasts, would be used to predict peaks and falls in demand. In fact, DeepMind thinks that its self-learning algorithm could learn from these data how to predict demand placed on the UK’s grid, and therefore help to deal with it.

Specifically, DeepMind’s aim is to help the National Grid to utilise renewable energy sources in the most efficient way possible. The algorithm would help to optimise output from power stations and other more intermittent power sources, such as wind farms.

The technology is fascinating as it could enable the grid to cope with larger wind capacity, and could help support the growth of wind in the UK. It would also reduce the need to keep polluting power capacity online to manage intermittency.

The UK Government has declared that the main reason it keeps providing subsidies to coal power plants is to avoid power shortfalls when there is little wind or sun. Hence, a better management of the grid would possibly enable the government reduce its incentives to polluting power stations, while supporting more renewables like onshore wind. This could help open up more investment opportunities in the UK for wind developers and others.

In addition, this partnership shows an evolution in the amount of focus large tech companies are putting on renewable energy.

Big companies are interested in being involved in renewables because they want to achieve their own sustainability goals, but it is more than that. They are experienced in using technology to match supply with demand, and that knowledge could give them an edge when it comes to running an electricity grid. This could mean lucrative contracts in helping them to manage the grid.

DeepMind and National Grid are still at the very early stages here, but the business proposition is intriguing. As grids become smarter, AI could be a game changer in the UK wind industry.

Artificial Intelligence is coming to the UK grid.

Google's artificial intelligence company, DeepMind, has developed an algorithm that has enabled Google to cut the amount of energy used by its data centres by 40% and to cut the data centres’ overall electricity consumption by 15%. In short, it tracks a huge amount of data, including how much energy is being used at any given time by servers and any other equipment, to anticipate energy demand and supply and match them.

DeepMind is now thinking about whether it could develop a similar algorithm to improve the UK’s electricity system: "We think there's no reason why you can't think of a whole national grid of a country in the same way as you can the data centres," Demis Hassabis, DeepMind’s chief executive, told the Financial Times.

DeepMind is a London-based artificial intelligence firm, founded in 2010, which specialises in machine learning, advanced logarithms and systems neuroscience. In 2014, Google bought the business for £400m. The company is now in talks with the UK’s National Grid about how to use artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyse energy supply and demand in order to help the country to balance its energy needs.

"It would be amazing if you could save 10% of the country's energy usage without any new infrastructure, just from optimisation. That's pretty exciting," Hassabis said.

How does this translate to its work with National Grid?

In this case millions of pieces of data, from TV viewing trends to weather forecasts, would be used to predict peaks and falls in demand. In fact, DeepMind thinks that its self-learning algorithm could learn from these data how to predict demand placed on the UK’s grid, and therefore help to deal with it.

Specifically, DeepMind’s aim is to help the National Grid to utilise renewable energy sources in the most efficient way possible. The algorithm would help to optimise output from power stations and other more intermittent power sources, such as wind farms.

The technology is fascinating as it could enable the grid to cope with larger wind capacity, and could help support the growth of wind in the UK. It would also reduce the need to keep polluting power capacity online to manage intermittency.

The UK Government has declared that the main reason it keeps providing subsidies to coal power plants is to avoid power shortfalls when there is little wind or sun. Hence, a better management of the grid would possibly enable the government reduce its incentives to polluting power stations, while supporting more renewables like onshore wind. This could help open up more investment opportunities in the UK for wind developers and others.

In addition, this partnership shows an evolution in the amount of focus large tech companies are putting on renewable energy.

Big companies are interested in being involved in renewables because they want to achieve their own sustainability goals, but it is more than that. They are experienced in using technology to match supply with demand, and that knowledge could give them an edge when it comes to running an electricity grid. This could mean lucrative contracts in helping them to manage the grid.

DeepMind and National Grid are still at the very early stages here, but the business proposition is intriguing. As grids become smarter, AI could be a game changer in the UK wind industry.

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Not a member yet?

Become a member of the 6,500-strong A Word About Wind community today, and gain access to our premium content, exclusive lead generation and investment opportunities.