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#2Case Study

More Hope than Concern

Magazine #2 | Summer 2023

More Hope than Concern

We wanted to get a better idea of the expectations raised by the use of AI in smart grids. To do so, we evaluated documents from different stakeholder groups that comment on opportunities and risks.

Science & research
Energy industry
Network operators
Civil society


Societal Risks

Cybersecurity is one of the most important issues related to critical infrastructures and is thus mentioned most frequently. But societal risks are also addressed, such as discrimination, transparency shortcomings and the unknown workings of AI systems.

Ecological Risks

Concerns are frequently expressed that model development and digital infrastructures could lead to increased energy and resource consumption. Some have also noted that rebound effects could reduce potential savings.

Economic Risks

Very few risks have been identified here. The possibility that jobs might be lost is rarely raised.

Advantages and Expectations

Economic Advantages

It is often said that AI will reduce costs and increase revenues. Many expect stronger customer loyalty as well.

Advancing the Shift to Clean Energy

Many consider AI to be indispensable in the transition to a climate-neutral economy, particularly its usefulness in the integration of renewable energies. AI is also expected to promote societal acceptance of renewables in addition to participation.

Technical Advantages

AI is credited with enabling greater precision, better data processing and real-time analytics. Occasionally, the expectation is mentioned that new phenomena could be discovered through the use of AI.

Optimization & Increasing Efficiency

In the energy sector, AI is expected to help increase the level of automation, improve system efficiency through better forecasting and optimize maintenance processes.

Ecological Advantages

It is expected that AI will advance the transition to a carbon-neutral economy, aid with climate protection and ensure boosts in resource and energy efficiency.