1980 Societal Assessment of SPS

of the United States, and a broad range of occupational backgrounds was represented. State utility regulatory commissioners and labor representatives were two audiences approached that did not respond in any significant number. The largest number of responses came from anti-nuclear and pro-solar citizen groups. The response to the outreach effort itself was very positive. A general recommendation by CEP is that DOE should consider similar outreach efforts for other technologies under development—notably synfuels and fusion—as well as other solar technologies. The overall general response to SPS was negative. Eighty seven percent of the CEP responses indicated opposition to SPS, ranging from a sense that better energy options exist to unequivocal hostility. The alternatives most frequently suggested were decentralized energy systems, including terrestrial photovoltaics, low-head hydro, wind power, solar collectors, and biomass energy conversion. A major concern of the majority of respondents was that SPS is centralized and thus inconsistent with the "inherently decentralized" nature of solar technologies. Relative to this concern was the stated belief that, because of SPS costs, funds would be diverted from development of other, decentralized systems. The major environmental concern was over the effects of microwave radiation on human health, local ecosystems, and the atmosphere. Other environmental concerns were associated with land use, atmospheric damage, resource availability, and disruption of ecosystems at rectenna sites. In the international area, respondents expressed concern over the possible use of the SPS as a strategic military weapon. They were strongly opposed to this on the grounds that it would destabilize international relations. The vulnerability of SPS to military action was also a concern. (2) Forum for the Advancement of Students in Science and Technology Approximately 300 response forms were received from the recipients of FASST summaries. The majority of respondents were college students; however, both faculty and students from high schools, junior colleges and universities were represented. The respondents’ average age was 26, and over 80 percent were male. Approximately 250 respondents sent in personal comments.