Tag Archives: Moore’s Law

Why Bezos started Amazon

Jeff Bezos sent his biographer to find the graphs; that’s when I learned about this. The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon, Paperback, August 12, 2014, by Brad Stone (PDF, google book)

Intrigued by Shaw’s conviction about the inevitable importance of the Internet, Bezos started researching its growth. A Texas-based author and publisher named John Quarterman had recently started the Matrix News, a monthly newsletter extolling the Internet and discussing its commercial possibilities. One set of numbers in particular in the February 1994 edition of the newsletter was startling. For the first time, Quarterman broke down the growth of the year-old World Wide Web and pointed out that its simple, friendly interface appealed to a far broader audience than other Internet technologies. In one chart, he showed that the number of bytes—a set of binary digits —transmitted over the Web had increased by a factor of 2,057 between January 1993 and January 1994.

Internet Resource Discovery Services by Bytes
Internet Resource Discovery Services by Bytes, John S. Quarterman, Matrix News 4.2, MIDS, February 1994.

Another graphic showed Continue reading

A Naive Projection of the Growth of the Internet

Just as four years ago I projected solar growth ten years ahead, a quarter century ago I projected Internet growth ten years into the future:

A Naive Projection of the Growth of the Internet
Graph: A Naive Projection of the Growth of the Internet, John S. Quarterman, Matrix News 2.2, MIDS, February 1992.

From 7.7 million Internet users in 1992, I projected the exponential growth of the previous few years ahead a decade, to about 3.8 billion people in 2002.

How close was that estimate? Continue reading

Solar power prices dropping faster than Moore’s Law

More confirmation that solar power is winning so there’s no excuse for any new pipelines.

tl;dr: Moore’s Law is an analogy. As an analogy, it works. And progress is happening far faster than I projected in my ‘solar Moore’s Law’ piece of 2011.]

Ramez Naam, on his blog, April 2015, Is Moore’s Law Really a Fair Comparison for Solar? Continue reading

Fixing climate change is profitable

Batteries are just one of many reasons, including electric vehicles, smart grid, solar and wind power (including pass HB 57 and you can profit by getting financing for your own solar panels), plus massive savings on health care and electricity bills; batteries are one of many reasons that fixing climate change will save us all money, clean up our air and water, expand our forests, preserve property rights, and make some people rich:

In fact, a recent report suggests that revenue from the distributed energy storage market — meaning battery packs and other storage devices located directly at homes and businesses (many of which now generate electricity through solar) — could exceed $16.5 billion by 2024. Another report predicts $68 billion in revenue in the same time frame from the grid-scale storage market. This includes large-scale battery packs, hydro-storage systems that use cheap abundant electricity to pump water uphill to drive turbines later on, or even solar thermal systems that store energy as heat in molten salt.

And it’s all happening fast, so fast your jaw will drop if you’re not paying attention. So let’s stop talking about the costs of fixing climate change. It’s not just no-cost and free, not just in the future but right now; we’re all actually going to be better off through fixing climate change: healthier and more prosperous.

Sami Grover wrote Continue reading

As predicted U.S. solar capacity grew more than 400% in 4 years

This month’s eia report confirms that solar did exactly what former FERC Chair Jon Wellinghoff predicted: “That’s what is happening in solar. It could double every two years.” Wellinghoff’s further prediction remains on the money: “…at its present growth rate, solar will overtake wind in about ten years. It is going to be the dominant player.” Because of exponential growth like compound interest caused by ever-falling solar PV costs, solar will win like the Internet did.

U.S. Energy Information Administration (eia) wrote 22 April 2014, Solar-electric Generating Capacity Increases Drastically in the Last Four Years,

U.S. solar capacity increased significantly in the last 4 years. In 2010, the total solar capacity was 2,326 MW which accounted for a comparatively small fraction (0.22%) of the total U.S. electric generating. capacity. By February 2014, this capacity increased 418% to 12,057 MW, a 9,731 MW gain, and now accounts for almost 1.13% of total U.S. capacity. Reported planned solar capacity additions indicate continued growth

12,057 / 2,326 = 5.18 times, which is more than 2 * 2 = 4, ergo Wellinghoff was right. Continue reading

More solar jobs already than coal, or oil and gas extraction

Want jobs? Invest in solar power.

There are more people in the U.S. employed in the solar energy marketplace than mining coal. The banal argument that transitioning to a clean energy economy will cost us jobs is simply false. Solar is growing more than 10 times faster than the American economy.

Solar already employs more than coal, and that gap is widening. In 2012, solar added 14,000 new jobs, up 36 percent from 2010 and the industry will add another 20,000 jobs this year. The fossil fuels industry cut 4,000 jobs last year. So when it comes to employing Americans, solar is winning.

That 119,000 jobs in the solar industry is also more than the 106,400 “production and nonsupervisory employees” in the oil and gas extraction industry, and gaining rapidly Continue reading

Nuke overruns already causing distributed solar in south Georgia

People are tired of irresponsible trash government at the state level colluding with monopoly utilities to hold Georgia back in distributed solar power, and some of us are doing something about it; you can, too.

Jigar Shah wrote for SaportReport 15 September 2013 Solar more viable as Georgia’s new nuclear power plants face overruns,

I am seeing Georgia’s nuclear financial woes starting to prompt a boon for distributed energy including solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, low-impact hydro, high efficiency cogeneration, and other sources of electricity.

Biomass? Let’s not go back to that carbon-polluting forest-destroying factory-exploding waste of time and resources. Solar, wind, efficiency, and conservation are the main events, with solar increasingly leading the pack. And those nuke cost overruns are already driving solar up even faster: Continue reading

Solar power will win like the Internet did

Remember BITNET, FidoNet, or UUCP? Nope, the Internet overtook all of those. And in 20 years that’s how young people will remember coal and natural gas plants, although the waste-disposal costs of nukes will be with us for ten thousand years. Solar power is going to overtake all other power sources within a decade. Here’s why I think that.

Jerry Grillo quoted me in Georgia Trend July 2013, Sun Dancing: As Georgia’s solar capacity shoots skyward, a new state utility is proposed,

“Solar power is the fastest-growing industry in the world, and it’s growing along in the same way the Internet did,” says John S. Quarterman, a Harvard-educated author and Internet pioneer who launched the first commercial online newsletter, among other things, and who lives in rural Lowndes County.

“Think back 20 years to 1993. How many people had heard of the Internet? And look at how far we’ve come. What I’m seeing with solar energy is the same kind of exponential growth. It’s clean energy that works, and it generates jobs.”

Here are 1992 ten-year graphs of Internet growth from that newsletter, Matrix News, using Continue reading

SO’s plan to make the Southeast a net exporter of the energy from solar and wind? –John S. Quarterman @ SO 2013-05-22

SO CEO Tom Fanning didn’t budge from nuclear and coal, but he did announce a tiger team to get on top of distributed solar and wind through a smart grid, headed by SO’s COO, at the 22 May 2013 Southern Company Stockholder Meeting.

Next question --Tom Fanning Mr. John S. Quarterman from Lowndes County, Georgia, and he holds 220 shares of Southern Company.

TF: Hello, John. Good to see you again this year.

jsq with SO fade jsq: Hi. I’ve come to compliment Tom Fanning and Paul Bowers. Last year, Tom Fanning was so persuasive I ran out and bought $10,000 worth of stock.

TF: Bless you. [Applause]

However, apparently because of SO’s admission a few minutes before in that same meeting that it was going to have to eat Kemper Coal cost overruns, SO stock tanked that same day, causing my stock to stop out, and Standard & Poor’s downgraded SO the following day because of Kemper Coal, noting that if the same thing happened with SO’s nuclear project at Plant Vogtle, S&P’s would probably Continue reading

Georgia Power still too slow on solar in 20 year plan: PSC decides soon

Georgia Power tries to continue whistling in the fossil and nuclear fuel dark while distributed solar power changes the world around it. The Georgia Public Service Commission can decide differently, and will decide next week, 11 July 2013.

Joshua Stewart wrote 2 July 2013, Decision Looms On Georgia Power Plan,

The state Public Service Commission votes next week on Georgia Power’s 20-year plan, the road map for providing electricity to 2.4 million customers. That includes the mix of fuels the company will use and the efforts the company undertakes to get customers to use less energy. This happens every few years. But this time, Georgia Power also wants to retire 16 coal- and oil-fired power-generating units at six power plants.

This happens every few years. But this time, Georgia Power also wants to retire 16 coal- and oil-fired power-generating units at six power plants.

PSC Commissioner Lauren “Bubba” McDonald said at a hearing in April that this version of Georgia Power’s plan “is filled with the most-significant issues” of any Integrated Resources Plan in the last decade.

And Georgia Power avoids actually facing many of those issues:

Continue reading