renewable energy

Computational Sustainability

Communications of the ACM

These are exciting times for computational sciences with the digital revolution permeating a variety of areas and radically transforming business, science, and our daily lives. The Internet and the World Wide Web, GPS, satellite communications, remote sensing, and smartphones are dramatically accelerating the pace of discovery, engendering globally connected networks of people and devices. The rise of practically relevant artificial intelligence (AI) is also playing an increasing part in this revolution, fostering e-commerce, social networks, personalized medicine, IBM Watson and AlphaGo, self-driving cars, and other groundbreaking transformations. Unfortunately, humanity is also facing tremendous challenges. Nearly a billion people still live below the international poverty line and human activities and climate change are threatening our planet and the livelihood of current and future generations. Moreover, the impact of computing and information technology has been uneven, mainly benefiting profitable sectors, with fewer societal and environmental benefits, further exacerbating inequalities and the destruction of our planet. Our vision is that computer scientists can and should play a key role in helping address societal and environmental challenges in pursuit of a sustainable future, while also advancing computer science as a discipline. For over a decade, we have been deeply engaged in computational research to address societal and environmental challenges, while nurturing the new field of Computational Sustainability.

Why AI is an opportunity rather than a danger


Opinion: it's likely that artificial intelligence will do more good than harm for human civilisation The solar system is full of debris and rocks floating around. A meteor shower or a shooting star is debris burning up upon entry to the atmosphere. A much larger rock that could make its way through is an asteroid. About 66 million years ago, the impact from an asteroid brought about the Cretaceous extinction. A repetition of this event is theoretically possible - and the same could be said about all-powerful Artificial Intelligence Overlords marginalising the human race.

Microsoft and Schneider Electric launch AI for Green Energy


Microsoft and digital energy management and automation solution provider Schneider Electric have partnered to launch AI for Green Energy, a new accelerator programme for Microsoft's AI Factory. Through the programme, Microsoft and Schneider will help start-ups use artificial intelligence (AI) to transform the energy sector in Europe, decreasing consumption and increasing energy efficiency. These entrepreneurs will be able to learn from the technical and business expertise of the two companies during a three-month acceleration period. "We are delighted to leverage our ecosystem of partners to serve the most important causes to society, thanks to the start-ups of tomorrow," said Agnès Van de Walle, director of Microsoft's One Commercial Partner group. "Schneider Electric will bring in-depth expertise and personalised support, accelerating innovation across the energy sector."

The Green Google: Berlin Search Engine Uses Profits to Plant Trees

Der Spiegel International

At first glance, the Berlin startup doesn't seem so different from others: a factory floor in the rear courtyard of a building in the city's Neukölln district, stacked preserving jars filled with muesli in the kitchen, a discarded ping-pong surface repurposed as a conference table. The employees are young, relaxed and very international. The company's head and founder, Christian Kroll, is 35 years old, the same age as Mark Zuckerberg. The two men also share a quirk: To avoid wasting time in the mornings choosing an outfit, he always wears the same thing -- in his case, blank white T-shirts made from organic cotton. Zuckerberg's favorite color, by contrast, is gray.

What Will Smart Homes Look Like 10 Years From Now?

TIME - Tech

It's 6 A.M., and the alarm clock is buzzing earlier than usual. It's not a malfunction: the smart clock scanned your schedule and adjusted because you've got that big presentation first thing in the morning. Your shower automatically turns on and warms to your preferred 103 F. The electric car is ready to go, charged by the solar panels or wind turbine on your roof. When you get home later, there's an unexpected package waiting, delivered by drone. You open it to find cold medicine.

The UK is now using AI to predict solar power and lower energy bills

New Scientist

The UK's forecasts for solar power generation have become far more accurate through the use of artificial intelligence, in a development that could lower energy bills and carbon emissions. The country's energy system is becoming more reliant sources of electricity with a variable output. Renewables like wind and solar, which depend on the weather, provided 36 per cent of our electricity at the start of this year, up from 7 per cent in 2009. "The growth in solar was much, much more fast-paced than anyone anticipated," says …

The big data and artificial intelligence 'information-appetite'


The promise of big data and artificial intelligence is everywhere. And, in all cases, so are the results. One almost gets the impression that there is no problem that cannot be solved with these new technologies. The answer to everything is'big data and artificial intelligence'. Open a web browser and you see advertising tuned to your latest online shopping.

Machine Learning vs. Climate Change: AI for the Greener Good


Climate change is one of the most pressing issues of our time. Despite increasing global consensus about the urgency of reducing emissions since the 1980s, they continue to rise relentlessly. We look to technology to deliver us from climate change, preferably without sacrificing economic growth. Our optimistic--some would say techno-utopian--visions of the future involve vast arrays of solar panels, machines that suck carbon dioxide back out of the atmosphere, and replacing fossil fuels for transport and heating with electricity generated by renewable means. This is nothing less than rebuilding our civilization on stable, sustainable foundations.

Column: Can AI solve renewable energy's problems? India may show the way - Reuters


LAUNCESTON, Australia (Reuters) - One of humankind's most enduring weaknesses is to assume that the way things are presently will somehow persist into the future, and that current trends are inexorable. This thinking is behind the often repeated view that renewable energy sources such as wind and solar cannot replace thermal electricity generation such as coal and natural gas. Presently, it is correct that the most significant weakness of these renewables is that they are intermittent, meaning they don't generate close to their installed capacity and cause instability in electricity grids. While storage through batteries or pumped hydro is often touted as a solution to the drawbacks of wind and solar, there are other emerging technologies that may well make renewables more effective. One of those is harnessing artificial intelligence (AI) to improve the efficiency of wind and solar by using machine learning programmes to enhance predictability of generation and grid stability.

AI for Earth: a gamechanger for our planet


On 11 December 2017, at the One Planet Summit in Paris, Microsoft announced our $50m, five-year commitment to using AI to improve sustainability, known as AI for Earth. In the past year, the program has grown to support 233 grantees doing work with impact in more than 50 countries and all seven continents. We have also seen the science, from the IPCC and others, that indicate progress is still too slow and uneven to achieve a 2-degree future agreed to in the Paris Accord. Below, you'll see our vision for the program and in following pieces, you'll see how we're continuing to accelerate our efforts. On the two-year anniversary of the Paris climate accord, the world's political, civic and business leaders came together in Paris to discuss one of the most important issues and opportunities of our time: climate change.