Energy efficiency involves more than just unplugging unused appliances or switching off the lights. Findings show that implementing energy management can reduce electricity consumption by up to 30%. The demand for energy management continues to grow throughout the year for both public and private sectors. To realize the full potential of energy efficiency and management, different tools to streamline energy data and reporting are needed.
Every year, new trends are being introduced to the market to effectively manage the energy consumption in a facility. Energy management needs to be responsive and rapid in order for it to keep up with its increasing demand. We take a look at some of the most promising future trends that can help improve energy management.
- AI (Artificial Intelligence)
According to Aidan O’Sullivan, head of University College London’s energy and AI research, using AI to create forecasts for electricity demand, generation, and weather can lessen the need for backup mechanisms. Another example would be the use of AI in managing electricity shortfalls by briefly switching off power demand across entire communities or regions.
With this technology advancement, businesses can greatly benefit since they’d be able to control energy use in their buildings, making the most of low demand and cheaper periods of electricity supply. As for residences, homeowners can benefit through the proliferation of virtual assistants at home. Integration of energy data with a virtual assistant may lead to an AI home energy management system.
- Blockchain and IoT
The blockchain was originally developed to record cryptocurrency transactions but it’s now being adapted for use in the energy market. Blockchains assure transparent, tamper-proof, and secure systems that can enable innovative business solutions, especially when combined with smart contracts. The lack of centralization in blockchain makes it ideal in eliminating the middlemen of electricity suppliers.
Pairing blockchain with IoT stands to have a profound impact on energy systems. Devices can autonomously buy and sell energy at optimal times, optimize energy settings in a real-time context, plus monitor performance of energy-consuming devices. With more research initiatives, projects, and studies, we’ll be able to see if the technology can reach its full potential, prove its commercial viability, and be adapted in the market.
- Battery Storage
Battery storage offers a viable solution for storing intermittent energy supplies associated with renewable energy or conventional energy sources. A concern with renewable power sources is that they may not provide power at the time when most needed, especially during hours when energy demand peaks. Such challenge can be resolved by equipping one’s facility with battery storage. It enables renewable energy generation to be stored until required.
The technology of battery storage is central to combine a business’s energy efficiency and productivity goals. Since more and more are adapting the use of renewable energy in their facility, and in light of sinking feed-in tariffs and rising electricity prices, these facilities want to use the generated electricity for their own consumption whenever possible. This allows facilities not only to lower their energy costs but also make a substantive contribution towards the success of the energy transition.