Hanno Schoklitsch, CEO and founder of Kaiserwetter Energy Asset Management, outlines why AI and the Internet of Things can drive investment returns, even in times of crisis
As the international community comes to terms with the impact of the coronavirus crisis and searches for a way forward, we must not forget what the agenda was before the pandemic. When global leaders met in January for the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos (and Covid-19 was already a big problem in Wuhan), climate related issues dominated the top five long-term risks discussed.
Against a new backdrop dominated by Covid-19, state-run institutions, as well as the private sector have a double task to fulfil: restoring the global economy on the one hand, while making the investments needed for effective climate protection on the other. Economic recovery must meet climate protection standards. Numerous European countries have already pointed in this direction calling for the European Green Deal to be the spearhead for any recovery programme.
The renewable energy sector has a fundamental role to play in this context. A speedy energy transition is fundamental for complying with the Paris Agreement. To meet the respective objectives, the sector needs a large influx of funding, which has been affected by the coronavirus crisis. The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) recently published a report stating that expediting investments in the renewable energy sector will yield economic benefits, while tackling the global climate emergency we are facing. As such, renewable energy could help the world’s economy recover by spurring an increase of almost $100bn in global GDP by 2050.
Investment in renewable energy is one of the most pressing issues today and while investors seem unsure at the moment, advances in smart data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) could be the key to giving them the reassurance they need.
Previously, investors, asset holders and operators were unable to maximise the wealth of data permanently generated by modern wind farms and solar parks. However, with the right analytical tools, it is now possible to measure and update the value of any IoT asset in real-time, allowing for an optimisation of energy production, consumption, and respective business models such as virtual power farms or micro smart grids.
At Kaiserwetter – the first IntelliTech company in the renewable energy sector – we emphasise the importance of the digitalisation of the sector through IoT, AI and machine-learning.
We released ARISTOTELES: a multi award-winning cloud-based IoT Platform, which supports investors and finance institutions to minimise investment risk, maximise returns and achieve the highest level of transparency. Within our data analytics approach, ARISTOTELES aggregates, structures and analyses data from wind farms and solar parks and enriches this data with information from external sources, such as meteorological data and, soon, electricity market data. As a result, even for large global portfolios, investors, asset owners and financing banks have the opportunity to grasp and determine their portfolios’ operative and financial status, current and future returns, the degree of potential performance as well as emerging challenges regarding investments and loans granted.
The integration of artificial intelligence, particularly machine-learning, within the ARISTOTELES platform enables a predictive analytics approach that allows for an early detection of operational risks and potential technical failures before becoming effective.
Thanks to another of our products, IRIS, we are also able to accelerate mergers and acquisitions of renewable energy assets. IRIS is capable of performing in-depth analysis provided in due diligence reports, status reports or potential analyses. At the click of a mouse, this analytical machine helps investors, sellers, asset holders, finance institutions and M&A consultants to better understand wind energy economics, therefore facilitating acquisitions, mergers and the introduction of new investors.
The way forward
Given the emerging health crisis, each country has the economic opportunity to lead the change and redefine a new future for renewable energy in their region. To help, we have developed a new business-to-government platform. ARISTOTELES SKY – The Energy Cloud for Nations was presented to the world during COP25. ARISTOTELES SKY follows a “private cloud in a public sky approach” which means that it analyses energy production related data, enriched with spatial data, without affecting the IT infrastructure of the supply systems of the different national markets. It creates an optimised match of energy generation and demand enabling countries to attract capital through a more intelligent and accurate climate governance. Transition risks can be mitigated, and the transition can be accelerated.
We are convinced that digital innovation and especially data intelligence (the algorithm-based analysis of diverse forms of data from multiple sources to inform institutional decisions) provides us with the necessary tools to navigate our way out of the Covid-19 crisis and, ultimately avoid the next one – a global climate catastrophe. ν
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