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How artificial intelligence will affect the future of energy and climate

Brookings2019.01.11

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In a 2017 article for Foreign Affairs, Kassia Yanosek and I advanced the hypothesis that the biggest impacts of the information technology (IT) revolution may be felt far outside IT―in the traditional industries of oil, gas, and electricity.[1] That’s because IT was transforming how those industries function. That logic of transformation may be especially profound when looking at a subset of the IT revolution: artificial intelligence (AI). Other essays in this series explain what’s happening with AI and why it is such an important technical revolution.[2] In this essay, I’ll look at how AI might be affecting the supply and demand for energy and the implications of AI for how modern society uses energy: climate change. In a nutshell, the message is that AI helps make markets more efficient and easier for analysts and market participants to understand highly complex phenomena―from the behavior of electrical power grids to climate change.

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