Strictly speaking it should not. Gordon Moore was a trained scientist, who worked as an engineer. His famous Electronics article spoke only about circuit density on a silicon substrate. Moore himself has repeatedly said his law can't go on forever.
But many other exponential improvements emerge naturally from Moore's Law, so many that I wrote a book about them called Moore's Lore. What we learned in making circuits smaller came to apply to other components.
- Moore's Law of Storage -- it's easy to see exponential improvements in magnetic storage. Desktops have hundreds of gigabytes of storage, some even terabytes, where my first hard drive 26 years ago had just 10 megabytes.
- Moore's Law of Optical Storage -- We've gone from CD to DVD to BluRay. Progress is slowed by a need for standards that doesn't exist in the magnetic world.
- Moore's Law of Optics -- Dense Wide Division Multiplexing (DWDM) means we can run multiple channels on a single optical fiber, exponentially increasing carrying capacity by simply identifying colors.
- Moore's Law of Radios -- A decade ago a 10 Mbps WiFi signal was considered great. Now laptops come with 100 Mbps standard. It's possible because of Digital Signal Processors (DSPs), which Texas Instruments decided to focus on rather than microprocessors.
Then there are the other outgrowths of exponential abundance made possible by these other corallaries to Moore's Law.
Moore's Law of Knowledge is what you're soaking in. You have immediate access to exponentially more facts today than you did a decade ago. Or Moore's Law of Connection, which your teenager is probably enjoying right now on his or her iPhone.
To the popular mind, all these other changes are just as much Moore's Law as his original silicon conception. Moore's Law has become a shorthand for the computerized world all around us, and for our (correct) assumption that it's just going to get better and better, faster and faster.
So how does this apply to renewable energy?