Could high performance computing (HPC) help to advance the development of renewable energy and other green technologies? Scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory seem to think so, as per the announcement of a new one-year pilot program, called the hpc4energy incubator, that aims to accelerate the development of energy technology and boost U.S. competitiveness in the global marketplace by teaming businesses with the scientific and computing resources at its national laboratory.
The Livermore lab is now seeking proposals that address one of the five critical clean energy areas: building energy efficiency; carbon capture; utilization and sequestration; liquid fuels combustion; nuclear energy; and smart grid, power storage and renewable energy integration. Proposals must address “a compelling, critical problem” to which the solution would advance energy through a combination of HPC resources and collaborative teams of industry, energy and computer scientists.
Companies with the winning proposals will collaborate with Livermore lab scientists and use the lab’s HPC systems to find solutions to urgent problems and learn how to employ HPC as a tool for innovation. “HPC lets companies collapse the time and expense of designing and prototyping new products and processes. That’s important for advanced industrial countries like the U.S. that can’t compete on wages and need to be at the frontier of discovery,” said Deborah Wince-Smith, president of the Council on Competitiveness, in a statement.
Tomas Diaz de la Rubia, the Livermore lab’s deputy director for Science & Technology, echoed the sentiment, noting, “In an era of fierce global competition in the clean energy sector, high performance computing can stimulate the rapid advancement of U.S. clean energy technologies.” The hpc4energy incubator emerged from the National Summit on Advancing Clean Energy Technologies held in Washington, D.C., in May, sponsored by the Howard Baker Forum, the Bipartisan Policy Center, the Livermore lab and other partners who focused on exploring how HPC can catalyze rapid advancement of U.S. clean energy technologies.