Still haven’t been able to reach it quantum supremacyi.e. make a quantum computer capable of solving a problem otherwise unmanageable by a classical computer, but we are getting closer and closer and it is likely that it will not be too many years before we see the adoption of quantum computers in the business sector. Certainly, for a time, the two technologies will go hand in hand, because today it makes sense to use Qbit-based computers only for specific workloads, such as encryption. With that in mind, one of the areas where quantum computing could make a difference is the energy sector.
The potential of quantum computing in the world of energy according to Minsait
“The application of quantum computing in the energy sector has disruptive potential for the current energy system. On the one hand, the exponential increase in computing power offered by quantum computers will be crucial for the construction of a new energy horizon based on collaborative ecosystems managed in a “platform-based” logic, on the other hand, technologies already in use from more advanced energy sources, such as IoT, artificial intelligence and blockchain, will benefit“, explain Erminio Polito, head of energy and utilities for Minsait in Italy. “However, there are more immediate benefits, such as what it can currently offer energy trading. [l’acquisto, la cessione e lo spostamento dell’energia sfusa NdR]where having quantum technology represents a decisive improvement in terms of transaction speed“.
But what would those benefits be? According to Polito, there are mainly two: on the one hand, the improvement of tools to support the strategic decisions of companies operating in the utility sector, on the other hand, the enormous computing power will allow improve predictive analysis of key industry values, such as system electricity demand curve and renewable energy generation forecasts. In short, by adopting quantum computing, operators in the sector will be able to more accurately predict the performance of the power grid at a given time, in order to optimize production, also with a view to greater environmental sustainability.
Not only that: according to Polito, quantum computing will also have a strong impact on the cyber security. “To date, there are no quantum computers capable of jeopardizing the security of traditional cryptography“, explains the manager, “however, there are already the first commercial opportunities to prepare for a future of quantum decryption: the potential of quantum computing will not mean the end of cryptography, but a change in practices such as longer and longer cryptographic keys complex. In a future with millions of decentralized, simultaneous, and certified energy transactions via smart contracts and blockchain, quantum cryptography will be a central pillar of the new system.”.
Short-term opportunities: algorithms quantum inspired
Currently, quantum computers are mainly used for research purposes by a few giants, such as AWS, IBM or Google, but still do not offer the scalability and computing power to replace traditional computers. However, there is no shortage of near-term opportunities, according to Polito, who highlights how algorithms quantum inspired they will be able to accelerate the diffusion of this technology by demonstrating its short-term benefits. These algorithms have the advantage of being able to solve extremely complex problemsthose where quantum computers make the difference, using traditional computers.
“In the years to come, quantum computing will experience profound changes in all sectors of the economy, including the energy market. We are already seeing some of these applications, for example through quantum algorithms applied to traditional hardware, which are a solution within the reach of all companies that want to invest in this disruptive technology.“concludes Polito.