AI to impact regional power sector jobs, says Middle East Electricity report

Claudia KoniecznaArtificial Intelligence (AI) is expected to significantly impact roles within the regional power sector, according to the Middle East Electricity AI and Energy Report

The report also forecasts major adjustments to jobs in power generation plant operations and maintenance as sensors, digitisation and machine learning are increasingly adopted.

According to the report, AI adoption is set to result in data analytics which will improve plant efficiencies via improved systems for asset management, control and monitoring and automation.

Produced by Informa Exhibitions, organiser of the Middle East Electricity (MEE), the report cites electricity generation and street lighting management as major examples of where AI can boost production of large energy-consuming systems, with real-time decision-making enabling operators to quickly identify efficiencies and investment requirements.

Informa Exhibitions has introduced a one-day conference focusing on IoT lighting as part of MEE’s extensive CPD accredited knowledge programme. Smart street lighting is a central conference theme, with speakers predicting its impact across the MENA region will evolve lighting’s role from merely illuminating highways to providing social, environmental and operational cost benefits.

Boosting electricity generation

Disruptive Fourth Industrial Revolution technology underscores the MEE this year, which will be held at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) from 5-7 March 2019, as well as its three-day education programme, which provides 94 hours of free conferences and seminars.

“In addition to providing the cornerstone of our education programme, advanced technology solutions are prominent throughout the displays of the 1,600 leading manufacturers and suppliers exhibiting at the show,” explained Claudia Konieczna, exhibition director at Informa Industrial Group.

“Though analysts have been unable to drill down into precisely how much of 2025’s forecasted US$3.06 trillion global AI market will be linked to the energy sector, the benefits for electricity generation and supply are becoming clear with digitised generation and energy retailing being major beneficiaries,” according to the report.

The report further points to the emergence of new platforms which allow generator fleet connection easing the sector’s entry into the IoT era.

The report identifies advances such as smarter wind turbines and grids, as well as AI and monitoring systems to detect solar output falls. “The need for more complete data is also driving the industry, which in turn, is driving requirements for autonomous surveillance drones, better sensors, cybersecurity protocols and supply chain optimisation,” noted the report.

Beneficial outputs identified include more efficient demand response and load aggregation, reduced operation and asset management costs, lower generation capacity needs, as well as greater billing, loading profiling, forecasting and asset loading.

“We are reaching a point where almost everything can be connected and, eventually, will be,” explained Konieczna. “Perhaps more than any other MEE in the show’s 44-year history, disruption is in sharp focus throughout all five of the show’s dedicated sub-sectors, whether it be power generation, transmission and distribution, lighting, solar or energy storage and management,” Konieczna added.

Other transformative technology and practices evolving the power industry will be covered in the two-day ‘Revolutionising Power Generation Conference,’ running across day two and day three during the event.

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