Putting the "Smarts" into the Smart Grid: A Grand Challenge for Artificial Intelligence

Ramchurn, Sarvapali, Vytelingum, Perukrishnen, Rogers, Alex and Jennings, Nicholas R. (2012) Putting the "Smarts" into the Smart Grid: A Grand Challenge for Artificial Intelligence Communications of the ACM, 55, (4), pp. 86-97.


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The phenomenal growth in material wealth experienced in developed countries throughout the twentieth century has largely been driven by the availability of cheap energy derived from fossil fuels (originally coal, then oil, and most recently natural gas). However, the continued availability of this cheap energy cannot be taken for granted given the growing concern that increasing demand for these fuels (and particularly, demand for oil) will outstrip our ability to produce them (so called 'peak oil'). Many mature oil and gas fields around the world have already peaked and their annual production is now steadily declining. Predictions of when world oil production will peak vary between 0-20 years into the future, but even the most conservative estimates provide little scope for complacency given the significant price increases that peak oil is likely to precipitate. Furthermore, many of the oil and gas reserves that do remain are in environmentally or politically sensitive regions of the world where threats to supply create increased price volatility (as evidenced by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster and 2011 civil unrest in the Middle East). Finally, the growing consensus on the long term impact of carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels suggests that even if peak oil is avoided, and energy security assured, a future based on fossil fuel use will expose regions of the world to damaging climate change that will make the lives of many of the world's poorest people even harder.

Item Type: Article
Organisations: Agents, Interactions & Complexity
ePrint ID: 272606
Date :
Date Event
Date Deposited: 29 Jul 2011 15:25
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2017 16:33
Further Information:Google Scholar
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/272606

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