Recently, DNV, a global assurance and risk management company, released a report that dives deep into the world of artificial intelligence (AI) and cybersecurity in the UK energy system. I had the chance to sit down with the heads of DNV’s digital department during SPE Offshore Europe in Aberdeen, Scotland, and they shared some fascinating insights.
DNV has been at the forefront of digital technology for over 150 years, so it’s no surprise that they are heavily involved in AI and cybersecurity. In addition to their rules and standards in various sectors, DNV now publishes recommended practices on the assurance of digital assets, including their latest report on AI insights in the UK energy system.
To conduct this report, DNV interviewed organizations across the UK energy sector to truly grasp the impact and potential of AI. They explored the challenges, opportunities, and strategic enablers associated with the emergence of AI. Graham Faiz, DNV’s head of Innovation & Digital, UK & Ireland, believes that AI can play a critical role in the energy transition, but emphasizes the importance of careful consideration of its long-term impacts.
One of the key themes identified in the report is the challenges of implementing AI. Trust is crucial in unlocking its benefits, and there needs to be responsible use of AI within an encompassing ecosystem of trust. Overcoming information and communication challenges in the energy sector is crucial for building that trust. Faiz highlighted the challenge of outdated technology systems and processes in the industry, which need to be integrated for AI to thrive.
Despite the challenges, there are significant opportunities in the use of AI in the energy sector. DNV has adapted assurance principles and practices to ensure AI solutions function reliably within specified limits when deployed. The concept of digital assurance can generate an ecosystem of trust based on transparent arguments about capability and risks within AI solutions.
Shaun Reardon, DNV’s head of Industrial Systems Cybersecurity, also discussed the importance of managing cybersecurity risk in the energy industry. With the upcoming enhancements AI brings to digital technologies, ensuring security is critical. Reardon emphasized the need for comprehensive risk assessments and building security into systems from the beginning.
Convergence is another key challenge for the energy industry. As technology advances, there is a merging of engineering workstations and safety systems with IT components. Legacy operating systems like Windows XP are still being used offshore, posing cybersecurity risks that need to be addressed.
Overall, DNV’s report on AI insights in the UK energy system sheds light on the challenges and opportunities that AI brings to the industry. With careful consideration and responsible implementation, AI can play a crucial role in the energy transition and drive positive change.