The EnergizAIR Infrastructure framework and key interfaces, with the Enthought responsibility on the project shown in the central, grey box. The ultimate project goal was to raise individual awareness of the contribution of renewable energy sources, and ultimately change behaviors. Now ten years later, with orders of magnitude more data, AI/machine learning, cloud, and smartphones in the hands of individuals, this is an idea whose time has come.
Author: Didrik Pinte, M.S., CTO
Renewables’ contributions as energy sources and their part in driving business strategies are rising steadily. Multiyear objectives are appearing across companies and countries that rely on renewables, with terms like climate neutrality becoming more familiar. Environment, social, and governance (ESG) strategies are now used by all major companies, with renewables playing an important role, particularly for major oil and gas operators.
Concurrently, the public is becoming more aware of the drive to utilize renewables. However, positive information demonstrating how renewable energy can fit into their everyday lives is limited. Such visibility at the individual level will be necessary to influence behavior and to gain people’s confidence and support.
In 2010, Enthought participated in EnergizAIR, an ahead-of-its-time project by Intelligent Energy Europe and funded primarily by the European Union. EnergizAIR was designed to provide consistent visibility of the contribution of renewable energy sources by integrating them into standard media weather reports with three objectives: to make European citizens aware of the contribution of renewable energy sources, to help them understand the energy sphere, and to encourage them to support sustainable energy management.
Enthought’s role was to create the data management framework that would retrieve raw energy and meteorological data, store and process it, and provide interpretations, as well as create and distribute reports in various formats to media channels.
The project was successful in integrating renewable energy data with traditional weather data for a media audience of 2.5 million through 19 channels. Enthought worked closely with the EnergizAIR team using rapid iterations and ensuring complete transparency for the test-driven development. This enabled obtaining and implementing quick feedback. The result was a well-tested solution that was flexible and extensible while remaining readable and requiring minimal Python knowledge to extend and modify.
There are a number of possibilities for a similar project today to influence individual behaviors for energy sources and consumption, integrating weather information, with orders of magnitude more data, cloud, AI/machine learning and personal mobile devices. Enthought has similarly advanced over the last 10 years in ways that could meet the challenge. Scalable cloud-enabled infrastructures would be key, integrating the latest AI/machine learning models for data processing, analysis and sharing. Perhaps time for us to approach the EU – we have it covered.
About the Author
Didrik Pinte, CTO at Enthought holds an M.S. in bio-engineering and an M.S. in management from the Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) in Belgium. He is an expert in artificial intelligence, data management, and software development. He served as a research assistant at UCL, developing Python-based integrated water resource management applications.