Energy Monitor: Q&A: How Can AI Help Us Adapt to an Evolving Climate?


Neara’s managing director, Taco Engelaar, discusses the role AI and digital twins play in aiding adaptation to an evolving climate.

Utility providers are facing the need to adapt to changing and unpredictable climate conditions, and artificial intelligence (AI) might play a role in this adaptation. The past year marked the hottest on record, accompanied by an uptick in storms, wildfires, and high winds, all contributing to global power outages. AI emerges as a promising solution to lessen the effects of these climate-induced challenges.

Neara, an electric utility software firm, has developed a platform for infrastructure modeling that uses digital twins to help utilities foresee and mitigate threats. In an interview with Energy Monitor, Neara’s managing director and senior vice-president, Taco Engelaar, discussed the importance of such technologies in safeguarding infrastructure amidst increasing extreme weather events.

The challenge of climate change for utility networks is significant, posing threats to their operational stability. The urgency to expand renewable energy sources and hasten the transition to clean energy is growing, especially as the deadline for achieving net-zero emissions approaches. During COP28, more than 100 countries committed to tripling renewable energy capacity by 2030. Despite the International Energy Agency’s reports of record-high renewable capacity, much work remains to meet these ambitious goals.

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