Energy

Solving Clean Energy's Consistency Problem

Scientists are exploring new technologies like artificial intelligence and rechargeable battery storage to make renewable energy more reliable.

Solving Clean Energy's Consistency Problem
Martin Meissner / AP
SMS

One of the biggest issues for the clean power industry to overcome has been consistency. The sun doesn't shine 24 hours per day and it's not always windy. But new technology at this year's American Clean Power Expo in San Antonio, Texas is helping overcome some of those issues.Two of the main categories are focused on artificial intelligence and  massive rechargeable batteries.2021 saw the construction of record amounts of new solar farms — 20% more than the previous year — which are helping to create enough clean energy to power 56 million homes. However, all of that renewable energy creates new problems as well.

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Regulating the flow of old fossil fuel power and new clean power is one big challenge. One solution on display at the Clean Power Expo is the use of artificial intelligence.Veritone has developed software that's able to predict how much wind or solar power is going to be generated in a given area. It helps control the flow of the clean power across the grid.Daniel Friberg is the director of product and engineering at SunGrow. He says storage is critical for the industry to continue growing."The sun doesn't always shine," Friberg said. "With batteries, you're able to compensate for that by storing excess energy into the battery. Where there is less energy, you can bring it out from the battery."Those massive rechargeable battery storage units could help make clean energy more reliable.