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UK to use ex-DeepMind scientist’s cloud predicting AI to boost solar


LONDON ­– The U.K. is planning to use artificial intelligence software to try to better predict when cloud movements will affect solar power generation.

National Grid Electricity System Operator, or ESO, which moves electricity around the country, has signed a deal with non-profit Open Climate Fix to create an AI-powered tracking system that matches cloud movements with the exact locations of solar panels.

The grid operator said that the software, which is set to be used in the national control room, could help it to forecast cloud movements in minutes and hours instead of days.

Open Climate Fix’s “nowcasting” technology has the potential to improve solar forecasting accuracy by up to 50%, a spokesperson for National Grid ESO told CNBC.

The project, which commenced in August, is set to last 18 months and it is being funded by U.K. energy regulator Ofgem with £500,000 ($683,100).

The solar dilemma

Google backing

Co-founded by former DeepMind employee Jack Kelly in 2018, Open Climate Fix was backed by Google’s philanthropic arm, Google.org, with £500,000 in April.

At one point, DeepMind wanted to use its own AI technology to optimize National Grid. However, last March, it emerged that talks had broken down between DeepMind and National Grid.

While DeepMind denies it has shifted its focus from climate change to other areas of science, several key climate change researchers that were part of the company’s energy unit have left the company over the last two years, and it has made few climate change-related announcements. 



Read More: UK to use ex-DeepMind scientist’s cloud predicting AI to boost solar

2021-08-23 06:38:26

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