Podcast AI & energy with Mathijs de Weerdt

News - 04 November 2020

In the sixth Dutch spoken science podcast Snoek op Zolder (‘pike in the attic’) of the Dutch AI Coalition (NL AIC) and the National Innovation Centre for AI (ICAI), hosts Hennie Huijgens and Sietse van Gorkum talk to Mathijs de Weerdt, section leader of the Algorithmics Group at TU Delft. This episode’s focus is on the energy and industrial sector in the Netherlands. The importance of this topic is stressed by the increasing urgency the sector is experiencing for the transition towards a more sustainable energy system.

The energy transition exposes the complexity of our energy network. If we want to be heading towards a sustainable future, the system must be both 'green' and balanced. If, for example, you turn on a windmill, you will have to reduce energy production at another source. The current energy system is not ready to deal with a large and varied amount of renewable energy sources.

According to De Weerdt, the amount of data that is available has increased enormously, and many artificial intelligence (AI) techniques have proven themselves over the past ten years. As a result, the application of AI in the energy domain can speed up the energy transition enormously. AI is already being used on a small scale, such as in smart thermostats, or for charging an electric car at a time when energy demand and prices are low. However, the energy system as a whole is still far from smart, and can become a lot more efficient by using AI.

Would you like to know more about potential applications of AI in the energy sector? On 26 November, AI and energy experts are organising the session 'Energy from AI? The Netherlands is ON'. Even though the programme website in Dutch, some of the sessions will be in English. (Please let Mathijs know if you want to join this session.)