(SpectrumIEEE) Quantum computing could have a great impact on energy, leading to cleaner fuel, lower emissions, and more efficient electrical power systems.
IEEE Senior Member Qusi Alqarqaz, an electrical engineer with more than 28 years of experience in the power industry, is the author of this discussion of Microsoft’s efforts to redefine the energy sector with quantum computing.
Krysta M. Svore, general manager for Microsoft Quantum, was named in August to the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Quantum Initiative Advisory Committee, which advises the president and the energy secretary.
The new breed of computers is expected to excel at simulating quantum systems, like molecules. That should have a big impact on the energy sector. “We see huge potential in areas leading to cleaner fuel, emissions reduction, and energy efficiency,” Svore says.
Quantum computers are expected to aid in chemistry and materials development far beyond the capacity of present-day supercomputers. The simulation capabilities could help researchers create batteries with greater storage capacity; and high-temperature superconductors, which could be used for new catalysts that could convert and optimize alternative fuel sources. Quantum computing could be used for climate modeling, for example, to find potential locations of wind flow that would help in designing new wind-energy sources.
In 2019, Microsoft formalized its quantum network, a coalition of groups and individuals working on the technology. One member is the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, which is working closely with Microsoft to explore quantum-inspired solutions for energy applications.