April 4, 2024

Watch: Experts Explore Emerging Trends at Nexus of Data Science and Energy

Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions

Artificial intelligence and other data science tools can help make energy systems more accessible, affordable, reliable and environmentally sustainable. New opportunities to leverage these methods are emerging rapidly, as are concerns about security, privacy and ethics.

The 2023 Energy Data Analytics Symposium brought together more than 100 participants from academia, industry, government and nongovernmental organizations at Duke University to explore these issues over two days in October 2023. The event featured 20 presentations from established experts and energy professionals, networking opportunities and live “lightning talks” from the winners of a competition for early career scholars and energy professionals.

Here are some themes that surfaced during the symposium:

1. AI tools offer increasing value for planning, operating and evaluating energy systems efficiently. Watch presentations from: Keynote speaker Joseph DeCarolis (U.S. Energy Information Administration), Shawn Lackey (Duke Energy), Dalia Patino-Echeverri (Duke University) and Jeremy Renshaw (Electric Power Research Institute).

2. Incorporating standards for security, privacy and ethics while advancing environmental justice is key to successful use of energy data analytics in the AI era. Watch presentations from: Ben Rachunok (North Carolina State University), Johannes Friedrich (World Resources Institute) and Lee Tiedrich (Duke University).

3. Data collection strategies and improved energy data analytics are changing how we understand global energy access. Watch presentations from: Kate Iovanna (Millennium Challenge Corporation), Brian Min (University of Michigan) and Anders Pedersen (World Bank).

4. Remote sensing is becoming increasingly useful for informing decarbonization and climate strategies. Watch presentations from: Kyle Bradbury (Duke University), Jon Goldstein (Environmental Defense Fund), Jeremy Freeman (WattTime and Climate TRACE), Elizabeth Reilly (Johns Hopkins University), Angel Hsu (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), Paul Stackhouse (NASA) and Claudia Hulbert (Geolabe).

Joseph DeCarolis speaking at the 2023 Energy Data Analytics Symposium
Keynote speaker Joseph DeCarolis, administrator of the U.S. Energy Information Administration, discussed how EIA is incorporating energy data analytics into its work.

5. Early career scholars are bringing fresh ideas to themes at the intersection of data science and energy applications such as building electrification, energy insecurity, microgrid plannings and climate risk. Watch presentations from: Jake Erickson (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Maitreyee Marathe (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Saad Lahrichi (University of Montana) and Elizabeth Brown (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill).

The 2023 Energy Data Analytics Symposium was organized by the Energy Data Analytics Lab at Duke University's Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment & Sustainability and the Energy Analysis and Policy (EAP) Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Funding support was provided by grants from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation* and NASA**.

This event was aligned with the Duke Climate Commitment, which unites the university’s education, research, operations and public service missions to address the climate crisis.

* Conclusions reached or positions taken by researchers or other grantees represent the views of the grantees themselves and not those of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation or its trustees, officers, or staff.

** Trade names and trademarks are used in this presentation for identification only. Their usage does not constitute an official endorsement, either expressed or implied, by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.