How Industrial AI Improves Energy Businesses Now — And in the Future

Energy companies can use AI to improve their current revenue and enable new business models that will drive the future of the energy market.

The energy market is changing. Factors like the influx of renewables, severe weather events, fluctuations in fuel prices and customers are becoming producers as well as consumers. It’s both an exciting and challenging for today’s energy businesses.

The market leaders I speak with recognize that technology is the key to staying ahead of the competition and delivering optionality for the future of their businesses. And they know the race is only accelerating. In order to act quickly and adopt new technologies, I see energy businesses facing two challenges: 1. How can they use AI to drive operational and financial outcomes today? 2. How will AI enable their businesses to continue to evolve in the future?

Using AI to increase revenue and reduce opex in your current business model.

Industrial AI helps energy business owner/operators reduce unplanned downtime, increase reliability and improve the overall productivity of their energy assets. For example, wind operators can use AI-driven insights to:

  • Catch component failures before they cause unplanned downtime
  • Identify issues that are resulting in turbines underperforming relative to their power curve, neighboring turbines and their own historical performance
  • Develop more precise power forecasting tools to optimize day-ahead and hour-ahead bidding

How AI enables the energy market to grow with the changing times.

How is AI going to fundamentally change the way that actual business models run in this industry? I believe there are two ways.

The first is actually using AI and digital to create integrated energy models and reshape the grid. Start to integrate renewables, distributed generation and other new systems being built out. The grid is not currently designed to do that.

The second is using AI to serve your customers better. Today’s energy customers are demanding more visibility around the use of their energy. Businesses will need a customer-centric approach that transitions them from being simply a provider of electrons to being trusted energy service providers.

Uptake named 2019 New Energy Pioneer by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

I’m excited to work at Uptake and proud that we’ve been named a 2019 New Energy Pioneer by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). The award recognizes ground-breaking companies that are fueling the transition to a lower carbon economy and bringing new ideas for business models, technologies, market structures and commercial opportunities.

According to BNEF, “Uptake has developed an AI platform to predict and prevent the breakdown of industrial and energy assets to increase productivity, reliability, efficiency and safety.”

In the words of our founder and CEO, Brad Keywell, “We put powerful AI and machine learning technologies into the hands of front-line workers and industrial companies that aren’t AI experts. Our technology is field-ready, designed for the real-world and delivers outcomes where precision matters. Our investment in building a foundation of data integrity enables us to empower industrial operators to more effectively harness insights providing immediate value to data-rich, yet insight-poor industries.”

I was honored to accept this award on Uptake's behalf. Watch to hear some of my thoughts on why were selected:

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Sonny Garg is the global energy solutions lead at Uptake. He previously served as the Chief Innovation and Information Officer at Exelon and president of Exelon Power.