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The Middle East is calling on artificial intelligence to restructure its’ energy sector

Following the global shift towards sustainability, Middle Eastern nations are turning to artificial intelligence (AI) to reach their renewable energy goals, which could also boost the local and global economy. Recent international reports see these computer systems as key to the optimization of energy resources and the acceleration of sustainable development. 

Artificial intelligence is on its’ way to remodel the Middle Eastern energy sector. It is predicted to optimize energy production and distribution through smart grid technology, in addition to multiplying the use of solar and wind power that is already soaring. A smart grid system is a self-sufficient electricity network system automated to manage the supply chain. This system optimizes efficiency, for increased financial gain; all while serving as a more sustainable, reliable, and qualitative way to supply energy. 

Model of artificial intelligence for renewable energy

 

Looking at the numbers:

The American consulting firm McKinsey & Company’s report “Artificial Intelligence: Transforming the Future of Energy and Sustainability” predicts that AI technologies could generate $3.5 trillion to $5.8 trillion annually across energy industries. The data is a product of seventy reports from consultants, journalists, and government documents speaking on AI’s predicted impact. 

Further predictions come from the PwC, speculating AI to raking in $320 billion for the Middle Eastern economies, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 4%, both by the end of the decade. 

Their data suggest that the annual growth in the contribution of AI to GDP will range between 20-34% per year across the Middle East, with the fastest growth in the UAE followed by Saudi Arabia: 

 

Which regions will gain the most from AI?

Source: PwC

The World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi also emphasized the correlation between sustainability gains and financial benefits with the help of artificial intelligence. 

Dr Alexander Ritschel, Head of Technology at Masdar spoke at the summit, adding that “AI promises major advances in energy efficiency by making our cities in particular much more responsive to the way we consume power.”

Moving away from a reliance on oil:

The members of the Gulf Cooperation Council are moving away from their reliance on oil, and while they still remain the largest producers per capita, their transition towards sustainable energy is picking up pace. Vision 2030 Programs are shifting investors toward technological sectors, and away from oil, promoting innovation and sustainability. 

The demand for energy within the Middle East is anticipated to increase by 20% by 2050. The goal is for renewable energy to account for over half of that power supply, and artificial intelligence might be the determining factor.