The energy transition is a fundamental and structural change to the energy system, moving from traditional energy to renewable and sustainable sources. This transition causes an enormous increase in decision making and control by the growing number of production locations (dispersed energy production) and the growing number of actors. Citizens will play a new role, that of both consumer and producer of energy and storage capacity, and as such become active on the energy market, together with large companies and specialised energy producers and brokers.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is seen as the key technology that makes us able to deal with the resulting complexity. However, if ethical, legal and social aspects (ELSA) are not included, there are risks connected to the protection of citizens’ and society’s interests. These risks, stemming from decision making with and from algorithms and data, are concentrated in three critical areas: trustworthiness of AI, energy (in)justice, and fair market designs.
The Citizens and Society in the Energy Transition (CaSET) lab investigates the ethical, legal and societal implications of the role of AI in the future energy system and the transition to this future. The main objectives of the lab are thus aligned with the NLAIC agenda on Energy & Sustainability. CaSET moreover provides trans-disciplinary, fundamental insights on generalisable factors and processes that affect the efficiency, value-aligned utility and trustworthiness of AI.
The societal impact aimed for is a trustworthy, just and fair energy system in the Netherlands by 2030. CaSET identifies and shares the critical knowledge for the design of such systems. A broad range of societal stakeholders cooperate to achieve the lab’s goal. The lab couples three living lab-rooms, one to each critical area, to provide the opportunity for experimentation and testing scalability and generalisability.
principles that span how to govern, design and enable responsible use of AI in energyRoberto Bocca, Head of Energy, World Economic Forum