Thursday, March 1, 2018

Brad DeLong — Nikola Tesla

It is traditional to talk about Thomas Alva Edison. The most famous inventor in the world, "the wizard of Menlo Park", New Jersey, registered more than 1000 patents and founded 15 companies—including what is now called General Electric. But that story is too well-known. Let’s talk about Nicola Tesla instead....
If you look at a chart of economic growth relative to energy usage, it is understandable why Nikola Tesla is arguably the most important person in the economic history of humankind, having pioneered alternating currency as the basis for the modern power grid and inventing the induction motor to make it useful. Tesla and Westinghouse's AC beat out Edison's DC system in that it was more efficient. The world now runs on AC.
The world from space at night, illuminated by the electric power grid, is Tesla’s world.
See also William Nordhaus on the falling cost of artificial light, Do Real-Output and Real-Wage Measures Capture Reality? The History of Lighting Suggests Not.

Grasping Reality
Nikola Tesla
Brad DeLong | Professor of Economics, UCAL Berkeley


Matt Franko said...

DC is increasing with solar....

Unknown said...

global-economic-indicators are important as they show the economic health of countries. They are used to interpret current or future investment possibilities.