Information technology for energy — i4Energy is a growing community of experts who are defining and carrying out a research agenda to yield IT solutions for our energy future.
Energy is one of the grand challenges of our age. Where do we get it? Can we use it efficiently, intelligently? Will it be there when we need it? The answers rely on an energy infrastructure that communicates constantly, and in all directions — from energy’s very sources to the buildings where we use it most.
Past generations gave us the energy grid, a marvel of its time that has served us well. To answer today’s challenges, we turn to a marvel of our time: information technology. Every major industry has been transformed by new ways to gather, manage, and utilize information. However, in the business of bringing clean, reliable energy to consumers, this transformation is in its infancy. i4Energy is a nexus, bringing multi-disciplinary minds together to create information technology advances for our multi-layered energy challenges.
i4Energy is a vibrant community of researchers and innovators, rooted in its three founding institutions: the University of California’s Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS), the California Institute for Energy and Environment (CIEE), and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). With partners in industry and government, this powerful research collaboration is focused on creating an integrated information infrastructure that will transform our energy grid into a cooperative, “aware” energy network that is both efficient and able to use sustainable energy sources.
To do this work, the people of i4Energy are focused on three key areas:
- Integrated monitoring and sensing, to capture and communicate essential real-time energy information,
- Deep data analytics and modeling, to process physical information and guide action, and
- Intelligent usage and advanced control, to act on rich information streams, making the entire energy system work better.
Innovations in these IT areas mean progress across the i4Energy agenda. Advances will continually enhance our ability to match consumer demand with energy availability. They will maximize the fraction of renewable energy that can be generated, integrated into the transmission system, and utilized. And they will give us the tools to instrument our buildings, homes, and processes to boost energy efficiency.
i4Energy advances information technology to achieve dramatic improvements in the performance of our energy grid, the energy efficiency of buildings and homes, and the soundness of our decision making and actions in using energy. We foster multi-disciplinary research projects to create smart sensors, robust data management, and advanced controls — the integrated IT infrastructure that is critical to intelligent, agile, responsive, and sustainable energy generation, transmission, distribution, and end use by all of us.
To carry out this mission, i4Energy is creating a close and interactive community of experts from our founding institutions, industry, and government, all focused on research that will catalyze and accelerate innovation. By employing IT in transformational ways, i4Energy aims to achieve remarkable savings in the nation’s energy supply, cleaner and more sustainable energy, and higher-quality service for energy users.