16 Nov

Why AI Will Transform the Energy & Utilities Sector

Mark Simpson

Ahead of the Future of Utilities Summit in London on 21-22 November, Mark Simpson, Consulting Director, takes a look at how energy and utilities businesses can reap the benefits of AI and ML…

The utilities sector has some pretty seismic challenges on its hands at the moment that require businesses to be able to exponentially scale without a corresponding increase in their cost base.

There's the huge shift towards renewable energy and clean water which combined with management and replacement of ageing infrastructure requires significant capital expenditure. Alongside this growing populations require more and more people to be connected to energy and water than ever before whilst delivering good value to consumers at a time when the price of everything that we use is spiking.

There’s never been a greater need to understand what's going on in your business in real-time and be able to plan for today and understand a path to the future. We see the use of data and artificial intelligence as one of the key tools at the utilities industry’s disposal to support this exponential challenge. Some of the key benefits of doing so are:

Boost Operational Efficiency

AI dramatically reduces the time it takes to do the things you’re doing today. Take, for example, understanding business performance and engaging with regulators. This data can all too often be siloed within functions or teams and the ability to raise this for management purposes is a highly manual and time-consuming activity, but if you produce it on a real-time basis at the click of a button you can invest your time into taking action today. Suddenly you’re moving away from an outdated, manual understanding of your business, to predictive real-time monitoring with continuous compliance.

Planning the Future of Utilities

Alongside day-to-day operations, there’s also the need to plan in years and decades for challenges such as the path to renewable energy. AI and ML can help model out what both the business and customers’ needs look like over the next 20 – 30 years by producing deep learning models that create multiple different scenarios and using this feedback to plan and fund strategies today.

Unlock the Ability to Innovate

AI offers the ability to innovate and deliver new services to customers, especially where you’re interacting directly with the end consumer. It's all well and good having smart meters, but actually being able to use the data that comes from those is where the true insights and business value can be found.

The range of valuable sources of data is becoming more diverse and the opportunities emerging, enabled by machine learning to power AI-assisted applications are enabling organisations to reimagine how they operate.

GIS data such as satellite imagery, LIDAR and Bathymetry (as examples), are providing the fuel for innovation use cases such as intelligent planning and intelligent risk management where you can develop machine learning models that can predict friction points in construction projects while identifying risks before they’re encountered on site. The overhead of site inspections can be reduced and in some cases removed by processing image data captured by satellites and drones, combined with authoritative data sets on existing infrastructure at specific locations.

Having confidence in the ability to release risk from projects based on intelligent, AI-powered insights also enables net positive benefits on capital requirements to large, complex infrastructure projects.

Getting Started

We see too many businesses trying to solve their data and AI challenges in one go and all too often failing in doing so. By focusing on a specific area and use case that has real business value in its own right we can deliver tangible outcomes today whilst building out the capability to scale.

Mesh-AI is already transforming multiple providers within the sector, helping them understand how to unleash the power of their data and become an AI-enabled organisation.

Our experienced team of data scientists and engineers can work with you to identify that one initial project that will allow you to see a real business difference and set you on the path to transformation.

Meet Mesh-AI’s expert team at the Future of Utilities Summit at the Business Design Centre in London on 21 – 22 November. We look forward to seeing you there and answering all of your questions.

Not attending but would still like to meet? Get in touch with us at hello@mesh-ai.com.

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