AI will keep a tight vigil on power plants emissions

May 13, 2019, 7:58 AM EDT
(Source: Spiros Vathis/flickr)
(Source: Spiros Vathis/flickr)

Keeping track of the dark plumes of smoke billowing from all the world’s power plants is an unwieldy job. While Europe does this with satisfactory efficacy, many other countries, including the likes of Vietnam and Indonesia, fail to keep a tab on the emissions from their individual power plants, thus undermining global efforts to rein in pollution and climate change.

Now, a coalition of groups seeks to combine satellite data with an AI-powered algorithm to keep a close vigil on greenhouse emissions from each and every power plant around the globe, especially from the ones that have evaded scrutiny thus far, notes Earther.

The coalition, comprising of renowned organizations such as WattTime, Carbon Tracker and the World Resources Institute, bagged a grant of $1.7 million from Google last week. This kind of “satellite spying” may not constitute a direct action against pollution but could hand tools and information, like real-time data, to organizations, governments and individuals to help them strategize and curb emissions.

By presenting the data in public space, this project is expected to bring greater transparency vis-à-vis the biggest contributors to planet-warming emissions and hence force them to stick to the rules, reports Bloomberg.