Business Impacts of Implementation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Energy Industry
Posted: Apr 11, 2020
Over the last decade, the power utility and oil & gas industries have transformed drastically, primarily characterized by major technological disruptions. For the past three years, the industries have been witnessing an increasing implementation of smart and intelligent technologies, a surging adoption rate of cloud services, and the growing deployment of analytics that lead to increased automation in operations in these industries. The introduction of digitized solutions and systems to the energy sector aims at increasing energy efficiency and reducing the process downtime based on the real-time information obtained by the control systems through hardware, software, and services.
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In order to accommodate the growing requirements of the digitized solution and ensure continuous energy supply to the shareholders, the energy companies have initiated several strategies to optimize the grid network. With the advent of artificial intelligence (AI) technology, the energy sector stakeholders can execute various applications across the supply chain. AI technology using application-specific algorithms has the capacity to think, analyze, and react without human intelligence. The energy industry has observed a rapid adoption of AI regarding renewable energy management, exploration, and seismic activities, demand response, and retail and facility management.
The three key advantages that the deployment of AI is estimated to benefit the industry by enhancing operations, improving reliability, and adding value to the business. Catering to the escalating rise in the demand for energy conservation and energy security, established information technology solution providers are developing intelligent platforms and solutions. The given solutions are aimed at assisting the companies across the energy value chain to mitigate the supply-demand gap by ensuring high yields, profitability, and protection of the environment. Some of the leading companies working actively in this market are IBM Corporation, Microsoft Corporation, Accenture Plc, and Huawei Technologies.
The rapid market penetration of the AI technology has led to the enhancement of the operational productivity by minimizing manual labor and providing an efficient platform for proper data management of production inputs with a specific focus on energy industry applications such as renewable energy forecast, demand response, infrastructure management, seismic imaging, and preventive maintenance. The widespread implementation of cloud-based software systems has fueled the market growth by reducing security risks and increasing overall production capacities by the identification of underground oil & gas resources. Companies such as Validere Technologies, Ambyint Inc., Salesforce Inc., and Sigfox Technology are increasing their investments in artificial intelligence-powered technologies, to improve operations and reduce downtime.
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Key companies in the market have also adopted certain business expansion strategies to enter new markets. Stem Inc., one of the key players in July 2019, expanded its business with the launch of AI-enabled solar systems using the company’s AI platform, Athena. In November 2017, C3.ai opened up APAC regional headquarter in Australia for AI and ML applications for the energy industry.
Strategies such as mergers and acquisitions have also been significantly employed by the players across the supply chain to expand in the AI in energy market. For instance, in September 2019, Accenture Plc, one of the leading players in the AI in energy market, acquired Pragsis Technologies to enhance its AI product portfolio catering to retail, energy and utilities, public sectors, and other asset-intensive industries.
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