CO2 sustainability data science

Reducing CO2 wth the help of Data Science

Optimize operations by shifting loads in time and space

Data scientists have much to contribute to climate change solutions. Even if your full-time job isn’t working on climate, data scientists who work on a company’s operations can have a big impact within their current role. By finding previously untapped sources of flexibility in operations, data scientists can help shift loads to times and places where the electricity grids have a higher share of carbon-free energy, such as wind and solar. This load shifting allows the grid to transition faster to higher shares of carbon-free energy, and it can also reduces operating costs as well.

Data Science contributions to climate solutions

Before getting into specific opportunities in optimizing operations or infrastructure, I would like to acknowledge the broad stage that data scientists have in working on climate. Much of the current excitement about applying data science to climate has been around applications of ML and big data, and rightly so. An excellent starting point is, an organization of volunteers that has built an extensive community of people who work at the intersection of climate change and AI. Their website includes summaries of each of dozens of “climate change solution domains’’ described in the 2019 paper Tackling Climate Change with Machine Learning [1]. While the solution domains are intended as a guide to high impact ML climate applications, many domains also lend themselves to more “classic” data science methods from statistics and operations research. The list of possibilities is vast, and it can be difficult to know where and how to get started. For data scientists looking to get more engaged on climate problems, either on 20% projects or in pivoting their career trajectory, the bootcamp and the Slack community are good places to meet others and find resources.