Shell, Energy Transition Institute Lead Deep-Dive into AI

By Ed Bailey

Artificial intelligence (AI) is gaining traction as a key to unlocking the potential of renewable energy, making it a prime candidate to help power the energy transition.

With this in mind, representatives from Shell and the University of Houston Energy Transition Institute co-hosted the latest installment of UH Energy’s Critical Issues in Energy Symposium Series, “AI, Digital Technology and the Future of Energy.”

The symposium, with a keynote from Detlef Hohl, chief scientis over computation and data science at Shell, provided an in-depth look into AI’s capabilities within the energy marketplace as demonstrated through Shell’s latest developments.

Hohl noted that AI offers limitless potential as a conduit for the energy transition, as digital-based solutions can be applied to a myriad of energy challenges – such as carbon capture, wind energy, batteries and more -- thus offering strong opportunities within industry to tackle energy poverty across the world.

“Depending on how you define it, one to two billion people live in energy poverty,” Hohl said. “The energy system is becoming more distributed with increasingly diverse energy sources. Digital technology is key to help balance supply and demand for future energy systems.”

Seizing those openings, Hohl said, will be paramount, as energy needs have necessitated the continued development of multiple solutions and sources.

“In a net-zero emissions world, computational technologies and solutions will be a pillar of energy systems,” Hohl said. “The future of energy systems is low-fossil carbon, decentralized and digital.”

Attendees were also able to engage with members of Shell’s digital team to learn more about what it will take to transform perceptions of energy.

“The energy transition is a team sport,” said Dan Jeavons, vice president of digitalization and computational science at Shell. “It’s not going to be easy to change behaviors.”