24. Quantum computing


Quantum computing uses the quantum properties of matter (superposition states, interference and entanglement) to perform calculations with qubits. To this end, four technologies are competing: superconduction qubits, silicon qubits, trapped ion qubits and photonic qubits. As a universal quantum computer is not yet available, industry is working with researchers to create quantum computers adapted to useful problems, and thus benefit from a real quantum advantage. Within the next 10 years, quantum computing will revolutionize a number of fields: simulation, optimization, machine learning and cryptography.


As of 2023, GAFAM and numerous start-ups are offering Quantum Computing-as-a-Service to demystify quantum computing. The quantum advantage should be indisputable within 5 years and this explains the interest shown by governments and the funds raised in start-ups. By way of example, start-ups Pasqal (France) and IQM (Finland) raised respectively €100 million and €128 million in 2022. The risks posed by the development of quantum in the cybersecurity policy of DSOs require them to take an interest in these technologies.

Challenges and opportunities for DSOs

Potential use cases for DSOs:

  • Cryptography: cybersecurity of assets and encrypted communications for the essential service operator.
  • Simulations, e.g., stochastic studies of network constraint situations.
  • Optimisation: local flow management.
  • Machine Learning: improving the assessment of equipment condition based on image processing, improving chatbots for the relations with customers, etc.
  • Real-time analysis capability of optimal network operation (minimal technical losses, Advanced FLISR Algorithms, etc.).

EDSO Considerations

  • Data security is an integral part of the DSO business. DSOs need to keep a close eye on the development of quantum algorithms, which could render conventional methods of encrypting and protecting data obsolete.

Last update: 28 September 2023