New Perspectives on Artificial Intelligence in the Energy Sector

Artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to accelerate the energy transition, but according to a recent report by DNV, the sector must overcome a lack of trust in this technology. In order to effectively leverage AI’s benefits, the energy industry needs to establish trust in AI providers and the outputs they deliver.

DNV’s research involved interviews with senior representatives from energy companies across the UK, including the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation, EnQuest, National Gas, National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO), and the Net Zero Technology Hub. These interviews revealed that while AI is currently being used in the sector, there is significant caution surrounding its new and unestablished applications.

The report, titled ‘AI insights: Rising to the challenge across the UK energy system,’ highlights the potential of AI to drive advancement and innovation in energy supply chains. However, it emphasizes the need for industry-wide standards and best practices to unlock AI’s full potential.

One key barrier to AI adoption is the lack of data sharing within the industry, which has been identified as an area requiring significant improvement. Additionally, the engineering community’s risk aversion and low tolerance for error hampers the widespread acceptance of AI.

Hari Vamadevan, Executive Vice President and Regional Director UK and Ireland, Energy Systems at DNV, emphasized the importance of trust in AI systems: “To truly harness the benefits of AI in the energy sector, it’s critical this technology is trusted. There are two main challenges in achieving this: information to evaluate the trustworthiness of an AI system, and communication, to relay evidence which allows users to trust the systems.”

DNV, with its extensive experience in AI, has developed recommended practices for AI-enabled systems through its suite of ‘digital twins.’ These practices provide a framework to ensure the trustworthiness and responsible management of AI systems throughout their lifecycle.

However, the emergence of AI also presents cybersecurity risks in the energy sector. With increasing geopolitical tensions and the growing adoption of digitally connected infrastructure, the industry must address cybersecurity concerns and build trust in the security of these vital technologies.

In conclusion, AI has the potential to revolutionize the energy sector, but widespread adoption requires overcoming trust barriers. Industry-wide standards, improved data sharing, and effective communication are essential to unlock AI’s full potential and ensure its secure and responsible implementation.


What is AI?

AI, or artificial intelligence, refers to the simulation of human intelligence in machines to perform tasks that typically require human intelligence, such as problem-solving, learning, and decision-making.

Why is trust in AI important?

Trust in AI is crucial because it ensures that the technology is reliable, accurate, and secure. Building trust in AI systems is essential to harness their full benefits and encourage widespread adoption in various industries, including energy.

What are the challenges to adopting AI in the energy sector?

The energy sector faces challenges in adopting AI, including a lack of trust in AI providers and outputs, limited data sharing, and a risk-averse engineering culture. These barriers need to be addressed to enable the effective utilization of AI in the energy industry.

– DNV Report: ‘AI insights: Rising to the challenge across the UK energy system’ (link to be added)

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