1980 Societal Assessment of SPS

III. CONCLUSIONS Assessments of societal issues in four areas that appeared to be particularly troublesome at the outset of CDEP have been made. The methods and results have been briefly surveyed in the preceding sections. The major conclusions are presented here by issue area. Resources The materials and energy requirements for construction and operation of the SPS Reference System, although uncertain, appear to give rise to no insoluble problems or to be greatly out of line with competing systems. There are suitably located areas for rectenna sites throughout the United States. However, acquisition of specific sites promises to be a difficult problem at best, and the location of sites in some of the identified eligible areas will exact a fairly heavy cost penalty to either prepare the site or to modify the rectenna design. Reduction of the critical siting parameter—rectenna area— by even as much as one-half has little effect on the availablity of eligible sites. The siting research has resulted in the development of a methodology for determining eligible areas that is highly automated, and widely applicable, but the further elucidation of the rectenna siting problem will be much more dependent upon site-specific analysis. The site-specific prototype Environmental Assessment indicates the extensive societal impacts of rectenna siting and implies a need for coordination among the elements of the SPS program concerned with design, environmental impacts, and societal concerns. Institutional and Regulatory Issues It is concluded that an adequate framework to deal with the many institutional and regulatory issues is achievable; however, intergovernmental and multinational coordination will be required to do so. The issues involved are acceptable microwave radiation standards, workable finance and management schemes, compatible land use and energy planning. The seeming insolubility of some of the regulatory problems is a result of the substantive changes underway in the state and local regulatory environment. This particularly affects