DLS researcher Merel Noorman (Tilburg University), together with her colleagues Brenda Espinosa Apráez and Saskia Lavrijssen published a research paper on the use of AI in smart electricity systems and its impact on energy justice.
AI techniques for electricity systems are increasingly used to tackle problems resulting from the growing supply of energy from dynamic renewable sources. They started to be used to for instance forecast energy usage, optimise cost-efficiency, monitor system health and manage network congestions. While they have the potential to empower consumers, increase transparency in pricing and help maintain the affordability of electricity in the energy transition, many are concerned that they can also decrease transparency, infringe on privacy or cause discrimination
The paper explores their impact on energy justice. The concept of energy justice designates that energy related decisions should produce just outcomes. The delegation of decision-making tasks to AI systems can negatively affect energy justice. However, no concise research has been conducted yet into the need for adequate legal norms or design guidelines for the application of AI technologies in the energy sector. The research paper therefore explores AI’s implications on energy justice and the need for regulation of such technologies.