From a New York Times article about what Al Gore is up to these days:
that is the point of those slides on his laptop. In 1980, one shows, consultants for AT&T projected that 900,000 cellphones might be sold by 2000. In fact, there were 109 million by then. Today there are some seven billion. "So the question is: Why were they not only wrong, but way wrong?" he says. He presses a button, and up pops an old photo of a young Al Gore with a helmet of hair and an early mobile phone roughly the size of one of Michael Jordan's sneakers.
The same kind of transformation that turned those expensive, clunkers into powerful computers in every pocket is happening now in energy, he says, with new technology leapfrogging old infrastructure. "It's coming so fast," he says. "It's very, very exciting."
I mean, I'm not sure he is right about energy — he could be, I'm just not sure — but he is definitely right about cellphones, whose spread happened without a whole lot of special government incentives and subsidies of the kind that are often sought for alternative energy.