Doc Bernds FutureLab

Will Quantum Computing accelerate the Quantum Grid?

Last week, IBM and the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft presented Europe's first quantum computer, "Quantum System One", for whose procurement, further development and research around 40 million euros were provided by the federal government and the state of Baden-Württemberg. German Chancellor Angela Merkel also gave a speech at the opening, saying that for her the quantum computer is a "marvel of technology" and essential if Germany is to become globally competitive in this future technology.

(Foto: © IBM Research)

The ultra-fast quantum technology opens up new avenues and opportunities for major future issues, such as climate change and a climate-neutral power supply. And this is precisely where I see strong potential for our Quantum Grid 4.0: Quantum computing opens up a new dimension for the QG 4.0 in terms of its performance. The central operating principle of QG 4.0 is that the energy packages to be transmitted are derived directly from generation and consumption forecasts - for example, weather forecasts. Quantum computing-based weather forecasts will be characterized by higher accuracy and significantly shorter computation time, allowing them to be repeated in much faster time intervals.

Accordingly, quantum computing can bring its power to play, especially in terms of parallelization, in solving the complex optimization task of determining optimal transmission paths for all these packets.

This is particularly noticeable in one aspect: the constantly changing conditions necessitate immediate recalculation of the packet and route determination. These computational processes can then be performed with unprecedented accuracy, adapting the transmission to the changing conditions quasi in real time. Quantum computing is thus ideally suited to fully exploit the dynamics offered by the active principle of QG 4.0 for an effective Future Energy System.

From 2023, companies and research institutions will also be able to use computing units from Quantum System One. For me, quantum computing is a heart affair and I have discussed the potential at several Xyna conferences already - most recently in 2017, when the magic box of quantum physics was one of my main topics. Back then, we already announced that we would keep an eye on the developments, and the launch in Germany brings the possibility of using it well within our reach.