The UK plans to use artificial intelligence software that looks ahead when the sky is too cloudy to ensure solar power generation. According to climate experts, solar energy is indispensable in a would-be-carbon-neutral future.
The more sunlight solar panels receive, the more energy they produce. That’s why there must be sun in order for your solar panels to work efficiently. A day with clouds or bad weather does not affect performance, although these days will result in lower power production. So they are an obstacle, the days when the sun is obscured by too many clouds. So a green revolution, with countless time and cost saving benefits, would be if everyone in the solar industry knew the exact times when the energy could best be generated.
Natonal Grid ESO is responsible for maintaining the balance between supply and demand for the electricity grid in the UK. It uses technology that is accurate to the second. With fossil fuels and nuclear power, this is already a challenge, but the unpredictability of solar and wind energy makes ESO’s task even more complex. To address this problem, London based company Open Climate Fix has prepared a machine-learning model to read satellite images and understand how and where clouds move in relation to solar panels on the ground.
The more confidence we can have in our forecast, the less we need to hedge against the uncertainty due to the traditional, more controllable fossil fuel is needed to keep it going.
Open Climate Fix was co-founded in 2018 by Jack Kelly, former employee of AI company DeepMind. Google provided it with a £ 500,000 capital in April.