Is There Potential for Quantum Computers to Eek-out the Last Bit of Renewable Energy?
Can Quantum Computing Aid Clean Technology?
Points to note…
+ Quantum Computing in Energy Harnessing. Harnessing clean, renewable energy from solar panels, wind turbines, and hydroelectric stations requires manual or computer-aided optimization to ensure the power generated is greater than any energy used to operate the machines and systems that gather it. This involves aligning solar panels to gain the maximum possible sunlight, correctly gearing wind and water turbines so that they are spinning as quickly as possible, and linking up often thousands of solar panels or wind turbines in solar or wind farms (which are most effective when they are remote or offshore) in complex circuits.
Quantum computing promises to usher in an exponential growth in computer processing power by replacing the binary digits (bits) used in classical electronic computing with quantum bits (qubits). While the technology is not there yet, once quantum supremacy (the theoretical state in which quantum computers can be shown to perform any task faster than classical computers) is reached then computers will be able to enhance and speed up any function that can be programmed or, through machine learning, self-programmed into machines.
+ Quantum Computing in Smart Electric Grids and Cities. National and transnational electric grids are vast networks of power generating stations, substations which step up voltage for transmission or down for distribution, high voltage transmission lines which transport the electricity, distribution lines connecting to consumers, and electricity output. They are the arterial system of civilization, spanning entire continents, and modern life is impossible without them. As such, they are incredibly complicated and – because they must supply voltage at relatively constant amplitudes while balancing varying amounts of supply and demand – incredibly delicate relative to their size.
+ Quantum computing could effectively automate these processes and more like them to gain as much energy as possible from these clean, renewable energy sources. In addition to this, the greater speed and reliability of machine learning that quantum computing can enable could aid renewable energy harvesting by optimizing these processes better or faster than human learning could.
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