ABERDEEN, UK, 6 September 2023: According to DNV’s latest report, the energy sector must overcome a lack of trust in artificial intelligence (AI) before the technology can be effectively used to accelerate the energy transition. Furthermore, based on the interviews with senior representatives from energy companies across the United Kingdom, DNV said its research determined that while AI is already being used across the sector, companies are largely cautious of its new and unestablished uses. Making the announcement of the report launch at SPE Offshore Europe 2023 through a Press release, DNV said the interviewees featured in the report include industry personnel from the Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation, EnQuest, National Gas, National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) and the Net Zero Technology Hub, among other organisations.
DNV said AI insights: Rising to the challenge across the UK energy system outlines how AI can contribute to the energy transition and that an industry-wide approach to standards and best practices is required to unlock its potential. While AI can be key to advancement and innovation in energy supply chains, DNV said, the research found that putting in place the foundations for trust in the providers of AI solutions and the outputs of those solutions must be prioritized in light of recent geopolitical events highlighting the need for countries to have energy sustainability, security and affordability – in effect, a parallel trilemma for AI as it is increasingly democratized and utilized. It was also found that data policies and industry culture also present significant barriers to its widespread adoption, DNV added.
At the industry level, DNV said data sharing has been identified as the area which requires the greatest improvement. In terms of culture, DNV added, it was found that the engineering community has a high level of risk aversion and low tolerance to error.
Hari Vamadevan, Executive Vice President and Regional Director, UK and Ireland- Energy Systems, DNV, said: “To truly harness the benefits of AI in the energy sector, this technology must be trusted. There are two main challenges in achieving this: information to evaluate the trustworthiness of an AI system, and communication, to relay evidence which allows users to trust the systems.”
The release said DNV possess years of experience in AI, and the latest in its suite of ‘digital twins’ recommended practices now covers AI-enabled systems, providing a framework to assure those systems are trustworthy and managed responsibly throughout their entire lifecycle. The release further said the emergence of artificial intelligence also poses cyber security risks in the sector, with heightened geopolitical tensions and the accelerating adoption of digitally connected infrastructure sparking concern over the industry’s vulnerabilities to cyber threats.
Shaun Reardon, Head of Section-Industrial Systems, Cyber Security, DNV, said: “Accurate, accessible, reliable, and relevant – digital technologies and AI tools must be all these things if we are to trust them. But they must also be secure. Digital technologies – set to be enhanced by AI – are connected to control systems and other operational technology in the energy industry, where safety is critical. The industry needs to manage the cyber security risk and build trust in the security of these vital technologies.”