Summit explores applications of high-performance computing to get more efficient energy use.

ORNL-supercomputerSummit explores applications of high-performance computing to get more efficient energy use.

With the turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa, high gas prices in the U.S., and growing alarm over climate change, energy issues can no longer be ignored. But challenges to securing reliable and affordable energy in the U.S. remain a stumbling block that will require scientific, technological, and policy innovation.

High-performance computing—where complicated computations get solved in supercomputers and computer clusters—is one technique that researchers are using to help solve long-standing problems, such as biofuel efficiency. This approach and the need for a strategic energy policy that provides direction and support for implementing innovations were the focus of last month’s National Summit on Advancing Clean Energy Technologies, a two-day summit organized by the Bipartisan Policy Center, the Howard Baker Forum, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). Speakers came from disciplines spanning finance, government, industry, and academia.

… Thomas Mason, the director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, pointed out that there are still limits to what the current state of the art in high-performance computing is capable of handling. Specifically, he emphasized that computers have difficulty dealing with complex problems such as climate change, one of the big factors that will impact future energy consumption.

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Source: Rajendrani Mukhopadhyay | Chemical & Engineering News
Photo: Supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory