The Advent of Artificial Intelligence in India’s Power Sector

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is expected to make lasting changes to industries globally and the power sector is no exception. It’s still early days in terms of adoption, but there are numerous use cases for AI in the energy and utilities industries.

March 16, 2018. By Moulin


Artificial Intelligence (AI) is expected to make lasting changes to industries globally and the power sector is no exception. It’s still early days in terms of adoption, but there are numerous use cases for AI in the energy and utilities industries.India’s very own technology company Climate Connect offers AI based services to global energy companies, a testament of India’s technology expertise. Energetica India discovers more.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

When someone mentions “Artificial Intelligence”(AI), most of us imagine an army of human-like robots rebelling against humanity, while a few are envisioning a bright future where AI serves them in all possible ways . The global tech community no longer doubts that we’ll develop a human-like AI one day. Experts are still not certain how soon day X will come, but it is clear that we are moving towards it with increasing speed.

AI is the ability of a machine or a computer program to think and learn. The concept of AI is based on the idea of building machines capable of thinking, acting, and learning like humans.

While some people falsely consider AI a technology, the more accurate approach would be seeing it as a broad concept in which machines are able to deal with tasks in a way we would call intelligent or smart.

There are certain things a machine/computer program must be capable of to be considered AI.First, it should be able to mimic human thought process and behaviour. Second, it should act in a human-like way—intelligent, rational, and ethical.

AI in the Power Sector

The power sector is one of the many that are experiencing deep and lasting changes to business models and operations due to digitization. From oil and gas providers to power and electric grids, the industry does not look like it did 50 or 10 years ago. Utilities are implementing AI technologies around Big Data Automation, Predictive Analysis and Machine Learning (ML).

It’s still early days in terms of adoption, but there are numerous use cases for AI in the energy and utilities industries. AI is expected to be the brain of future smart grid. The technology will continuously collect and synthesise overwhelming amounts of data from millions of smart sensors nationwide to make timely decisions on how to best allocate energy resources. Additionally, the advances made from ‘deep learning’ algorithms, a system where machines learn on their own from spotting patterns and anomalies in large data sets, will revolutionize both the demand and supply side of the energy economy.As a result, large regional grids will be replaced by specialised micro grids that manage local energy needs with finer resolution. These can be paired with new battery technologies that allow power to continually flow to and between local communities even when severe weather or other outages afflict the broader power system.


On the demand side, smart meters for consumers, including homes and businesses, and sensors along transmission lines will be able to constantly monitor demand and supply. Further, briefcase-sized devices known as ‘synchrophasers’ would measure the electricity flow through the grid in real time allowing operators to actively manage and avoid disruptions. These sensors would communicate with the grid and modify electricity use during off-peak times thereby relaxing the workload of the grid and lowering prices for consumers. Google recently applied this AI technology to reduce its total data centre power consumption, which translated to millions of dollars in savings.

On the supply side, AI will allow the industry to transition to an energy portfolio with increased renewable resource production and minimal disruptions from the natural intermittency that comes with these sources due to variable sunlight and wind intensity. For example, when renewables are operating above a certain threshold, either due to increases in wind strength or sunny days, the grid would reduce its production from fossil fuels, thus limiting harmful greenhouse gas emissions. The opposite would be true during times of below-peak renewable power generation, thus allowing all sources of energy to be used as efficiently as possible and only relying on fossil fuels when necessary. Additionally, producers will be able to manage the output of energy generated from multiple sources to match social, spatial, and temporal variations in demand in real-time.

Climate Connect

India has continued to rise in the Global Innovation Index (GII) rankings for the second year in 2017 when its position improved from 66 to 60. And the reason behind this is companies such as Climate Connect.

The company believes that AI & ML will be the biggest enabler of human civilization’s transition to a 100% renewables powered grid, at 100% reliability of supply, accessed as a fundamental human right.And that's what Climate-Connect is all about. Specifically, getting 300GW of generation and load under AI interworking - the critical mass to enable adoption of these technologies on a truly global scale.


Working at the intersection of energy, data science, software technology, and AI & ML, the team builds data platforms with AI & ML driven models and algorithms to provide analytics, forecasting, and automated decision making for customers in energy markets worldwide including India, China, Europe, and the USA.

The company has over 10 GW of assets under active management across the globe covering over 50 generators, traders, utilities and regulators, who are customers of its products and services. The team consists of over 40 software engineers, data scientists, meteorologists and energy analysts working from Amsterdam, New Delhi and Pune.

Another approval boost came when the company secured a Series A round of investment from Amsterdam-based Miller Turner Group, to boost deployment of its AI-driven software solutions for the energy sector, globally.

Climate Connect’sForecasting Techniques

Forecast Expertise & Offerings:

  • Load forecast solutions for distribution companies: Intra-day, day-ahead and week-ahead forecast to reduce deviation penalties
  • Solar power forecast:Day-ahead and intra-day solar power generation forecast for compliance with DSMregulations
  • Intelligent Merchant Solar (IMS):Generation and price forecast across multiple instruments to optimise sales tomaximise revenue
  • Software solutions for electric vehicles(EVs):Software interfaces for integration of EVs at the discom or consumerend

While AI companies in the energy sector are working across the value chain of forecasting techniques, Climate Connect operates at the leading edge of AI& ML revolution:


Case Study: Climate-Connect Forecast v/s Market Competition

One example of the positive effect of Climate-Connect’s AI service offering to the Indian energy sector can be gauged from a solar power plant case study.

Two identical solar PV power projects (same installed capacity, same tariff, located adjacent to each other) operate in a West Indian state. The one using Climate Connect’s AI&ML based forecasting solution has earned a total of Rs 1.8 lakhs of additional revenue through the DSM for renewable energy projects. The other project, using a forecasting solution from a competitor, has paid a total of Rs 84.2 lakhs to the regulator under the same regulations between 1 January and 30 September 2017. (Source: SLDC).

Climate Connect’s other Services

Load Forecast for Distribution Companies

  • ML & AI-based algorithms for load forecast for distribution companies
  • Helps in better optimization of supply sources to minimize cost
  • Helps reduce penalties under the Deviations Settlement Mechanism
  • Helps reduce instances of load shedding, to meet full load

Predictive Maintenance | Big Data Analytics

  • Offers the ability to scrape live data from data loggers or SCADA systems
  • Live monitoring & targeted analytics with graphics-rich user interface
  • Trend analysis of historical data for outages or breakdowns
  • Helps pre-emption of possible outages & breakdowns issuing warnings/
  • Enables advisories to take timely action
  • Helps achieve significant financial gains
  • Has applications in transmission & distribution networks and power plant equipment

Deviation Secure – A Climate Connect Proprietary Product

  • Financial risk hedging product for Deviation Settlement Mechanism for renewable energy projects
  • Bank guarantee offered against any fall in forecast accuracy
  • Monthly subscription offers complete immunity from deviation penalties
  • Climate Connect generates and submits scheduled reports to the regulators
  • No financial risk to plant developer/operator
  • Stable revenue based on PPA tariff with no loss due to deviation

Energetica India learns more about AI& ML, Climate-Connect and its services in the India market through Mr. Shiv Kaushik, Director of Business Development, Climate Connect

Energetica India: How can AI assist Indian energy companies to better plan their projects?

AI - which is really Machine Learning (ML) in this context - is currently an operational rather than planning tool. So the question is how can it help companies operate better?  This ties into some of the prevalent misperceptions of what AI &ML actually are, and their current capabilities. AI is not yet advanced enough for planning (short or long term), nor scenario analysis. Currently, it is a day-to-day operational tool, as real data for analytics comes from Operations.

In the next 5 years, AI & ML will boom regardless of industry, as data generation will be operations led. There is already so much data - e.g. frequency, supply, demand, and pricing - all changing on a second-by-second basis. It's impossible for a human, or even many humans, to process. And that's where AI & ML come in.

AI-driven research and progress will help to automate a vast array of processes which earlier needed manual intervention. In the simplest sense, this will make the sector and national-energy-system more efficient. The Indian energy sector is in a unique position because things are happening for the first time, and at potentially huge scale. So it has the real opportunity to leapfrog other countries, in terms of renewable energy, load management, and pricing.

Energetica India: What experience does Climate Connect bring in AI and analytics?

Though Climate Connect's core DNA is that of a tech company, its skills base is evenly spread across data scientists, energy domain experts, and traditional software engineers. This equal balance of the three is a differentiating attribute for an industry which is by nature highly tech intensive. As such, it is engaged in a range of services including RE and price forecasting for independent power providers (IPP's), supply & demand analysis, and load forecasting for utilities and distribution companies.

Energetica India: What innovation does Climate Connect bring to the Indian energy sector?

Climate Connect was India's first company to develop price forecasting models for the power exchange market.  This was eventually adopted by thermal power generators. A big step for them, given their traditionally cautious approach to new technology.

Another example is in solar forecasting, where beyond just forecasting generation for the remainder of the day, an AI-driven model also decides in real-time whether revisions should be implemented. This is based on analysing past and present data together, and has demonstrably shown dramatically improved accuracy. 

About Shiv Kaushik, Director of Business Development, Climate Connect

Shiv is a Director at Climate Connect Technologies responsible for Business Development, strategy planning, and partnership development. A Passionate entrepreneur and management executive with more than 20 years’ experience in strategic business development, international product management, sales, and marketing.

He has an extensive background in the technology sector, at companies like Oracle, CMC, Wipro, Ferranti and Cyan. He has created a niche for himself in the power sector, combining knowledge of IT solutions, IoT, M2M, and smart metering. He has successfully established operations of various start-ups as well as MNCs in India.

He has experience of smart metering and solar plant SCADA, and has done significant Systems Integration work during his stint with CMC Ltd. He established the Oracle Utility business in India, and established an undisputed name for their ERP and Metering billing applications in the country.



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