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AI and Automation as an Answer to Energy Consumption and Environmental Sustainability (NYSE: $ABB) (TSXV: $MCLD.V) (NASDAQ: $MRVL) (NASDAQ: $RAVN)

 

Point Roberts, WA and Vancouver, BC - April 10, 2019 (Investorideas.com Newswire) Investorideas.com, a global investor news source covering Artificial Intelligence (AI) brings you today's edition of The AI Eye, looking at how AI will play a significant role in energy consumption and environmental sustainability.

As global population increases and the rate of industrialization across the developing world accelerates, the problems of energy efficiency and climate change loom ominously. One thing that may be able to keep externalities caused by urbanization in check, are emerging technologies like artificial intelligence. A recent report from Technavio for instance, projects that global AI in the energy market will grow by $6.06 billion USD from 2019-2023. An analysis from Frost & Sullivan highlights some of the benefits of this trend. In the analysis, Swagath Navin Manohar, Research Analyst, Energy & Environment, outlines how AI can reduce energy waste in electricity and other sectors by providing better consumption data:

"In addition to making the electricity system intelligent and flexible, AI algorithms help utilities and energy companies understand and optimize consumer behavior and manage energy consumption across different sectors. Meanwhile, complex machine learning algorithms combined with real-time weather data from satellites, ground-based observation, and climate models can be used to forecast the electricity generated by RES like wind, solar, and ocean."

Multinational automation company ABB Ltd. (NYSE:ABB) is already putting some of these ideas into practice with their Industrial AI Accelerator program, aimed at supporting startups using AI to solve industrial challenges. The co-founder of one of those startups (Greenlytics), Sebastian Haglund El Gaidi, explained how working with ABB makes it possible to leverage AI in the service of a more efficient power grid:

"The conversations with ABB helped us realize the different areas where we can combine our capabilities and create technological synergies. Collaborating with ABB will help further develop our vision of tomorrow's increasingly renewable, distributed and smarter grid. We already learned a lot about not only the technology but also the potential market and customer needs - and that is really important for a startup, especially in a B2B context."

An article on The Next Web emphasizes the role AI has in identifying patterns in energy consumption data that can be used to better regulate how scarce resources like electricity can be distributed. The piece quotes Henrik Brink, the founder of Ento Labs, a company fighting climate change with artificial intelligence:

"Energy efficiency is the only really direct way of lowering emissions. And according to our initial research, there's a huge opportunity for lowering emissions. There's so many low hanging fruits of companies and industries that can be optimized a lot."

A company applying this insight in a big way is Universal mCloud Corp. (OTC:MCLDF) (TSXV:MCLD), whose AssetCare platform combines AI with IoT and cloud computing technology and has found application in various markets. A key recent development has been the announcement that AssetCare connectivity has been established for the Heiwado Shopping Center in Changsha, Hunan Province, China. Done in collaboration with mCloud partner SCN Ltd., this will see management of the mall's stores' HVAC systems using AI and analytics, which will deliver ongoing energy savings, curbing the costly 41 percent of energy currently used by Heiwado for heating and cooling.

Furthermore, mCloud collaborates with Britwind, an affiliate of UK's Ecotricity, to apply AssetCare analytics to improve wind turbine availability and extend the health of wind turbines in Europe and China, and mcloud is also collaborating with Fulcrum Automation Technologies on a plan to target at least 200 oil and gas assets as part of a greater strategy to access thousands of field assets in North America and the Middle East.

Semiconductor manufacturer Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (NasdaqGS:MRVL) last year demonstrated its AI SSD Controller powered by Deep Learning Accelerator technology from NVIDIA. The related press release stresses the cost-saving features of the tech via "improving efficiency, reducing power consumption, maximizing scalability and optimizing distribution of resources," Noam Mizrahi, VP of Technology and Architecture at Marvell, said:

"Our advanced AI SSD controller proof of concept solution sets a new paradigm in utilizing available system resources more efficiently, resulting in the scalable, cost-effective data storage expected for all kinds of machine learning tasks."

Raven Industries, Inc. (NasdaqGS:RAVN) reduces operating costs and improves yields using precision agriculture technology. Last year, the company partnered with Dot Technology Corp., an autonomous agriculture platform leader, to "power the autonomous farming solutions of the future". The Raven tech-based DOT Power Platform "completes tasks autonomously and enables farmers to spend more of their time focusing on the overall operation of their farms."

So though greater industrialization across the globe creates challenges to energy consumption and environmental sustainability, it also seems to be yielding the very technologies, such as AI and automation that are required to assuage them.

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