DOE Announces New Actions to Enhance America’s Global Leadership in Artificial Intelligence

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — As part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced a series of actions delivering on key elements of the Executive Order on the Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Development and Use of Artificial Intelligence. As part of a broader suite of announcements, DOE issued AI and Energy: Opportunities for a Modern Grid and Clean Energy Economy, which is a first-ever report on AI’s near-term potential to support the growth of America’s clean energy economy and Advanced Research Directions in AI For Energy, a report developed by DOE’s National Laboratories on long-term opportunities and challenges in AI. The Department also launched a new website that showcases DOE-developed AI tools and foundation models useful for basic and applied science. Today’s announcements will help drive advancements in AI safety and security, promote innovation and competition, and accelerate clean energy solutions to strengthen America’s global leadership in science and technology for generations to come. 

“Artificial intelligence can help crack the code on our toughest challenges from combating the climate crisis to uncovering cures for cancer,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “DOE, under President Biden’s leadership, is accelerating its AI work on multiple fronts to not only keep the US globally competitive, but also to manage AI’s increasing energy demand so we can maintain our goal of a reliable, affordable and clean energy future.” 

With decades of experience driving progress in strategically important domains of AI research and high-performance computing, DOE is mobilizing its broad and deep scientific and technical workforce, including at the National Laboratories, to carry out the President Biden’s Executive Order on the Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Development and Use of AI.   

New advances in AI are enabling enormous progress and breakthroughs that can help address key challenges of our time—from more effective cancer screening and targeted treatments to world-changing advanced manufacturing, from improving the reliability of our electricity grid and response to natural disasters, to state-of-the-art production capabilities for our nuclear stockpile.     

DOE is also announcing actions to assess the potential energy opportunities and challenges of AI, accelerate deployment of clean energy, and advance AI software and hardware innovation to manage the growing energy demand of AI, including:

  • The new VoltAIc Initiative to use AI to help streamline siting and permitting at the Federal, state, and local level. DOE is investing $13 million in the initiative to build AI-powered tools to improve siting and permitting of clean energy infrastructure and has partnered with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) to develop PolicyAI, a policy-specific Large Language Model test bed that will be used to develop software to augment National Environmental Policy Act and related reviews.  
  • Delivered an initial assessment on the safe, secure, and trustworthy deployment of AI and launched a sustained effort to analyze AI’s potential benefits and risks for critical energy infrastructure. Building off the Department’s new public assessment, DOE’s Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response (CESER) will be convening energy stakeholders and technical experts over the coming months to collaboratively assess potential risks that the unintentional failure, intentional compromise, or malicious use of AI could pose to the grid, as well as ways in which AI could potentially strengthen grid resilience and our ability to respond to threats. 
  • Analyzed the near-term potential for AI to improve planning, permitting, investment, and operations for electric grid infrastructure and to support the clean energy economy. The Department of Energy issued AI and Energy: Opportunities for a Modern Grid and Clean Energy Economy, summarizing the potential of AI to assist in providing clean, affordable, resilient, and secure electric power to all Americans and the role AI can play in building an innovative clean energy economy.   
  • Identifying longer-term grand challenges for harnessing the potential transformative power of AI for energy. DOE’s National Laboratories recently issued Advanced Research Directions in AI For Energy, which includes key challenges in applied energy over the next decade. 
  • Conducted a comprehensive overview of opportunities and challenges associated with Machine Learning techniques and their applications in power system operations. DOE’s Office of Electricity and the PNNL issued a report that provides a foundation for understanding the transformative role of AI and ML in power systems.
  • Establishing a new Working Group on Powering AI and Data Center Infrastructure. The Secretary’s Energy Advisory Board chartered a new working group to make recommendations—by June—on meeting energy demand for AI and data center infrastructure.    
  • Announcing that over the next several months, DOE will convene utilities, clean energy developers, data center owners and operators, and regulators in localities experiencing large load growth.    

To assess the potential energy opportunities and challenges of AI, support the deployment of clean energy resources, and advance innovation in AI tools, models, and hardware, DOE has: 

  • Quantified data center load growth and forecasted its near-term potential. To better understand how AI will affect future energy consumption, DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is currently performing a detailed national analysis of regional energy and water use across our nation’s data centers.   
  • Recently released the Innovative Grid Deployment Liftoff Report on advanced grid solutions and grid enhancing technologies, which can enable a smarter grid. By more efficiently using the grid infrastructure we have today, we can do more with what we have, reduce costs for ratepayers, and support more clean energy on the grid.   
  • Outlined a wide spectrum of solutions and existing federal incentives and programs available to address increased electricity demand on the nation’s power grid while continuing to reduce emissions. DOE recently released the 2024 Future of Resource Adequacy Report which affirms that investing in technology solutions, including clean energy generation and storage, transmission expansion and enhancement, and efficiency and demand management tools can provide ample, reliable and secure power in an age of rising electricity demand and provides details on the federal incentives available such as tax credits, loans, direct support, and technical assistance, including those for data centers.
  • Supported tools to accelerate renewable energy interconnection. DOE launched the Interconnection Innovation e-Xchange (i2X), a collaborative body for engaging on improving interconnection. As part of i2X, DOE has opened a funding opportunity to support improved analytical and modelling capabilities to accelerate renewable energy interconnection and released a solutions roadmap towards solving the interconnection backlog.
  • Announced Office of Science funding opportunities to support the application of AI for science, with topics covering foundation models for computational science; automated scientific workflows and laboratories; scientific programming and scientific-knowledge-management systems; federated and privacy-preserving training for foundation and other AI models for science; and energy-efficient AI algorithms and hardware for science. The Office of Science EXPRESS funding opportunity also includes ultra-energy-efficient “neuromorphic” computing for AI.
  • Announced New Signatories to Semiconductor Energy Efficiency Scaling for 2 Decades (EES2) Initiative, now with commitments from over 65 companies and other partners to return to biennial energy efficiency doubling in semiconductor applications, through full-stack software- and algorithm- driven co-design including novel hardware and materials for data center efficiency. More than 55 co-design technology approaches are highlighted in an upcoming EES2 RD&D Roadmap that will be released for comment by end of May. 

Supported researchers and industry developing novel data center cooling technologies to reduce energy consumption and water usage, ensuring U.S. leadership in energy efficient computing innovation through ARPA-E COOLERCHIPS program.  

Learn more about how DOE’s Office of Critical and Emerging Technologies, the Office of Policy, the Office of Science, the Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response, the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy, and the Office of Electricity are advancing AI innovation and supporting the Biden-Harris Administration’s whole-of-government approach in addressing the climate crisis and delivering a clean and equitable energy future for every American.     

Originally published at https://www.energy.gov/articles/doe-announces-new-actions-enhance-americas-global-leadership-artificial-intelligence

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