Tuesday brings a somewhat mind-blowing announcement in the world of power plants and pollution. In a nutshell: A nonprofit artificial intelligence firm called WattTime is going to use satellite imagery to precisely track the air pollution (including carbon emissions) coming out of every single power plant in the world, in real time.
Editor’s Take: The old saying, ‘you can’t change what you don’t measure’ is being put in practice in a very public way by innovative non-profit WattTime. The company, which I first learned about a few years ago, figured out how to show consumers exactly where their energy is coming from at any given moment. I likened this in my mind to flicking on a light switch and seeing a tiny puff of smoke if the energy was coming from the burning of fossil fuels. Obviously, that’s not how it works but the idea behind it — that when we know when clean energy is being generated verses dirty energy, we can adjust our behavior, maybe even just a tiny bit — seems sound.
Now the company is taking the idea that ‘knowledge is power’ and using it to educate the world about emissions from every power plant in the world. The Vox article at the link above does a good job of explaining why the project could prove highly successful in the march toward cleaning up our energy supply. Check it out. —JMR