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Women engineers call for the use of AI in power sector

The Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria (APWEN) has called on the Federal Government to use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to address the challenges of the power sector.

power grid
A power grid

APWEN President, Dr Adebisi Osim, gave the advice on Tuesday, April 30, 2024, at the inauguration of the Chairman of Ogbomosho Chapter of the association.

Osim, who was represented by Prof. Temitope Odetoye, a member of the association, said that AI had unprecedented opportunities to address the challenges in the power sector head-on and revolutionise it.

She said that advanced analytics and machine learning could optimise the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity, by analysing vast amounts of data and identifying patterns, vulnerabilities, and areas for improvement.

“As we all know, the power sector plays a vital role in the socio-economic development of any nation,” Osim said.

According to her, reliable and affordable access to electricity is a cornerstone for industrial growth, job creation, and the overall improvement of living standards.

“But Nigeria’s power sector has long grappled with various impediments that have hindered its progress.

“These challenges range from inadequate generation capacity, aging infrastructure, and limited access to clean and renewable energy sources, to issues of corruption, policy bottlenecks, and inefficient distribution systems.

“But today, we stand at a turning point. We stand on the threshold of a new era, an era marked by the transformative potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

“With AI solutions, we can tackle the technical aspects of the power sector with greater precision and efficiency.

“Predictive maintenance models can help us pre-emptively address equipment failures, reduce downtime, and enhance overall system reliability,” she said.

Osim said that AI could also play a significant role in addressing the non-technical aspects of the power sector.

“With the power of AI, we can improve energy access, affordability, and equity by developing innovative solutions for metering, billing, and revenue collection.

“AI-powered smart grids can enable real-time monitoring, demand forecasting, and load balancing, ensuring a more efficient and stable power supply,” she said.

Osim, however, cautioned that with the acceptability of AI, the challenges it presented must also be confronted.

She said that the deployment of AI technologies required a comprehensive legal and regulatory framework, to address concerns of privacy, data protection, and ethics.

“We must guard against biases and ensure that AI solutions are developed inclusively, considering the diverse needs and perspectives of our society,” the president said.

By Victor Adeoti

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