Power plants, particularly those that run on fossil fuels, tend to pollute the environment. No wonder countries are increasingly shifting to more renewable and green sources of energy to reduce their impact on the environment. WattTime, a nonprofit artificial intelligence firm, will soon provide valuable data which will track air pollution from every power plant in the world.

WattTime will rely on satellite imagery to do this. It will track air pollution, which includes carbon emissions, from every power plant across the globe in real-time. The data will then be made public. The project has received a $1.7 million grant from Google’s philanthropic wing, Google.org.

Poor monitoring and the gaming of emissions data have long made it difficult to enforce pollution restrictions on power plants. This data will be immensely useful in clearing those hurdles. The satellite data will be taken from different sensors working at different wavelengths including thermal infrared which detects heat.

Various algorithms will then process these images to detect signs of emission. It will look at heat, visible smoke, and NO2 in order to provide real-time emissions information for all power plants everywhere. This could just about be a game changer in how emissions restrictions are enforced on power plants.

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