DOE/ER/10041-T12 Satellite Power System (SPS) Societal Assessment December 1980 Prepared for: U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Research Solar Power Satellite Projects Division Under Contract No. AC01-79ER10041 DOE/NASA Satellite Power System Concept Development and Evaluation Program
Digitized by the Space Studies Institute ssi.org
Satellite Power System (SPS) Societal Assessment DOE/ER/10041-T12 Dist. Category UC-13 December 1980 Prepared by: PRC Energy Analysis Co. Los Angeles, CA 90024 Under Contract No. AC01-79ER10041 Prepared for: U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Research Solar Power Satellite Projects Division Washington, D.C. 20585 DOE/NASA Satellite Power System Concept Development and Evaluation Program
FOREWORD The Department of Energy (DOE) is considering several options for generating electrical power to meet future energy needs. The Satellite Power System (SPS), one of these options, would collect solar energy through a system of satellites in space and transfer this energy to earth. A Reference System has been described that would use photovoltaic cells to collect the solar energy, convert it to microwaves, and transmit the microwave energy via directive antennas to large receiving/rectifying antennas (rectennas) on earth. At the rectennas, the microwave energy would be converted into electricity. The potential societal impacts of constructing and operating the Satellite Power System have been assessed as a part of the Department of Energy’s SPS Concept Development and Evaluation Program. This is a report of that assessment. It has been preceded by Satellite Power System (SPS) Preliminary Societal Assessment, published in May 1979. The preliminary assessment summarized the results of fourteen individual studies of specific issues in four general areas: resources, institutions, international considerations, and public concerns. This report incorporates the earlier results and extends them on the basis of thirteen additional studies in the same general areas. It outlines the state of knowledge with respect to the issues addressed, delineates SPS-related problems and makes recommendations for further studies.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The Societal Assessment was conducted for the SPS Program Division (SPSPD) by the Energy Analysis Company of Planning Research Corporation (PRC/EAC) under Contract DEAC01-79-ER10041. The principal investigators for the individual studies upon which this document is based, their affiliations and topics are: Arrie Bachrach Environmental Resources Group Public Acceptance Claud Bain PRC Energy Analysis Company Military Implications Thomas Baldwin Argonne National Laboratory Relocation Bill Bavinger Rice University Rectenna Siting James Blackburn Rice University Rectenna Siting Ken Bossong Citizens Energy Project (CEP) Outreach Experiment Ali Cambel George Washington University Energy Implications for an Aging Society Carl Q. Christol University of Southern California International Agreements Meredith Crist University of Southern California Utility Interface Alan Daur io PRC Energy Analysis Company International Strategy Leonard David PRC Energy Analysis Company Microwave Radiation Standards Stephen Gorove University of Mississippi International Agreements Carolyn Henson L-5 Society Outreach Experiment John Hill Environmental Resources Group Rectenna Siting Utility Interface W.M. Jamieson Battelle Columbus Laboratories Materials Assessment Herbert Kierulff University of Southern California Finaneial/Management Scenarios Stephen Klineberg Rice University Social Acceptability Allan Kotin Kotin and Regan, Inc. Rectenna Siting, Resource Requirements, State & Local Regulations, Utility Interface
Alan Ladwig Forum for the Advancement of Students in Science and Technology (FASST) Student Participation, Outreach Experiment William Lloyd Marsh and McLennan Insurance Mary Marrs PRC Energy Analysis Company Federal Agency Involvement Sherry McNeal PRC Energy Analysis Company Public Involvement John Naisbitt Center for Policy Process Centralization/ Decentralization Michael Ozeroff Rand Corporation Military Implications James Rabe Environmental Resources Group Utility Interface R.R. Teeter Battelle Columbus Laboratories Materials Assessment J. Peter Vajk Science Applications, Inc. Financial/Management Scenarios, Military Implications Finally, acknowledgement is due to several individuals who reviewed earlier drafts of this document. Their comments were a valuable contribution to the final report. They are: William F. Hornick The Institute on Man and Science, Rensselaerville, NY Albert Perdon Community Redevelopment Agency, Los Angeles, CA Lawrence Susskind Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA Charles P. Wolf Social Impact Assessment, New York, NY
ABSTRACT Construction and operation of a 60-unit (300 GW) domestic SPS over the period 2000-2030 would stress many segments of U.S. society. A significant commitment of resources (land, energy, materials) would be required, and a substantial proportion of them would have to be committed prior to the production of any SPS electricity. Estimated resource demands, however, seem to be within U.S. capabilities. Modifications will be required of institutions called upon to deal with SPS. These include financial, managerial and regulatory entities and, most particularly, the utility industry. Again, the required changes, while certainly profound, seem to be well within the realm of possibility. Enhanced cooperation in international affairs will be necessary to acconmodate development and operation of the SPS. To remove its potential as a military threat and to reduce its vulnerability, either the SPS itself must become an international enterprise, or it must be subject to unrestricted international inspection. How either of these objectives could, in fact, be achieved, or which is preferable, remains unclear. Forty-four concerns about the SPS were identified via a public outreach experiment involving 9,000 individuals from three special interest organizations. The concerns focused on environmental impacts (particularly the effects of microwave radiation) and the centralizing tendency of the SPS on society. The interim results of the public outreach experiment influenced the scope and direction of the CDEP; the final results will be instrumental in defining further societal assessment efforts.
TABLE OF CONTENTS Page FOREWORD ii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS iii ABSTRACT v LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS viii I. INTRODUCTION 1 II. ASSESSMENT RESULTS 4 A. RESOURCE AVAILABILITY 4 1. Land Use-Rectenna Siting 4 2. Prototype Environmental Impact Statement 8 3. Energy Requirements 11 4. Materials Requirements 12 B. INSTITUTIONAL ISSUES 13 1. Financial and Management Scenarios 13 2. Regulatory Issues 14 a. State and Local Regulation 14 b. Regulation of Microwave Standards 15 3. Utility Integration 17 4. Insurance 19 C. INTERNATIONAL IMPLICATIONS 21 1. International Agreements 21 2. Organizational Considerations 25 3. Military Implications and Vulnerability 26 a. Threats Posed by the SPS 27 b. SPS Vulnerabilities 27 c. Safeguards Against Threats and Vulnerabilities 28 D. PUBLIC CONCERNS 28 1. Public Involvement 29 a. Review of other Government Programs for Public Involvement 31 b. SPS Public Outreach Experiment 33 (1) Citizens Energy Project 35 (2) Forum for the Advancement of Students in Science and Technology 36 (3) L-5 Society 37 2. Public Concerns 38 III. CONCLUSIONS 41 IV. RECOMMENDATIONS 43 BIBLIOGRAPHY OF SOCIETAL ASSESSMENT REPORTS 45
LIST OF EXHIBITS Page 1 Categories of Mapped Variables 6 2 Summary Map of Absolute Exclusion Variables 7 3 Site of Prototype Environment Assessment 10 4 Density of 2.45 GHZ Microwave Beam at Rectenna Location 16 5 SPS Utility Integration 20 6 SPS Participatory Technology Process 30 7 Public Outreach Experiment 34
LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS ANSI American National Standards Institute BLM Bureau of Land Management CDEP Concept Development and Evaluation Program CEP Citizens' Energy Project COMSAT Communications Satellite Organization CONUS Continental Unitea states DOE Department of Energy DOL Department of Labor EMC Electromagnetic Compatibility EPA Environmental Protection Agency FASST Forum for the Advancement of Students in Science and Technology FDA Food and Drug Administration FLPMA Federal Land Policy Management Act GEO Geostationary Orbit GW Gigawatts (1 GW=1000 megawatts) H&HS Health and Human Services IEA International Energy Agency INMARSAT International Maritime Satellite Organization INTELSAT International Telecommunications Satellite Organization ITU International Telecommunications Union L-5 L-5 Society LEO Low Earth Orbit mW Milliwatts (1 mW = 1/1000 W) MPTS Microwave Power Transmission System NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration NIOSH National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health OSHA Occupational Safety and Health Administrtion RF Radio Frequency SPS Satellite Power System U.N. United Nations USGS United States Geological Survey WARC World Administrative Radio Conference
I. INTRODUCTION CONCEPT DEVELOPMENT AND EVALUATION PROGRAM (CDEP) The possibility of collecting solar energy in space, converting it to a form suitable for transmission to earth, and then converting the received energy to electricity has been studied by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). A three-year joint program, * of which this report is one result, has generated information to be used in making decisions regarding development of the Satellite Power System (SPS) after 1980. NASA defined the engineering and operating characteristics of the SPS. DOE evaluated the system’s health, safety, and ecological impacts; examined economic, international, and institutional issues; and developed comparative assessments of the SPS and alternative future power sources. An SPS "Reference System" developed by NASA provided the technical and operational information DOE needed to conduct its environmental, societal and comparative assessments. An SPS satellite, as specified in the Reference System, would be a flat solar-cell array of about 50 km built on a graphitefiber-reinforced structure. A microwave transmitting antenna 1 km in diameter would be mounted on one end of the satellite. The satellites would be con- structed in geostationary earth orbit; a 150-km ground receiving station (rectenna) for each satellite would be built at the same time. The Reference System presumes that 60 satellites, each delivering 5,000 megawatts of electricity to the utility grid, would be constructed over a 30-year period, beginning in the year 2000. SOCIETAL ASSESSMENT The SPS Societal Assessment had two objectives during CDEP. The first was to determine if there were societal ramifications which, in themselves, would suggest termination or redirection of any work beyond CDEP. The second objective was to establish an information base regarding SPS societal issues from which work beyond CDEP could proceed, if warranted. These objectives, in * The superscript numbers correspond to listings in the Bibliography of Societal Assessment Reports.
conjunction with the Reference System studies, provided the rationale for focusing on four major issue areas—resource availability, institutional and international issues, and public concerns. Relevant societal issues are created by the interplay between the SPS and its external environment. Those components of the external environment which clearly exert control or influence over SPS and those which are most directly impacted by SPS were given primary consideration. The SPS requires large inputs of resources, the allocation of which depends on various decision making bodies or institutions. Other institutional mechanisms are required to manage program activities and control interfaces between the SPS and its external environment. International bodies would exert control over SPS because of financial interest, its space-based nature, and the need for agreements to allocate space frequencies and orbital slots and to set exposure standards for microwave radiation. Because of its global significance, the SPS would, in turn, influence international relations. Public concerns over potential social change resulting from the implementation of the program are also important components of the external environment. The studies were not intended to be exhaustive treatments of the issues addressed; rather, they provide estimates of SPS impacts commensurate with its stage of development and the needs of decision makers. Of the four major issue areas addressed in the Societal Assessment, the greatest degree of confidence can be placed in the findings regarding resource availability. The resource studies benefitted from the existence of a Reference System which provided focus and definition to the studies, as well as the availability of tested methodologies for quantitative analyses. Studies of institutional and international issues and public concerns benefit much less from the existence of a defined SPS Reference System or quantitative methodologies and rely more on understanding the complexities of consensus decision making, an undertaking which routinely requires research over a longer period of time. The Societal Assessment was carried out in two phases. Key issues were defined, and a preliminary assessment was conducted.6 On the basis of the results, a final assessment was undertaken to pursue the preliminary studies further or to undertake new initiatives which seemed to be indicated. This process has produced over two dozen issue-related studies in addition to this
final integrated Societal Assessment report. Key findings are reviewed in Section II. Conclusions are surveyed by issue area in Section III. Recommendations for future societal assessment work, if a decision to proceed with SPS development is made, are included in Section IV.
II. ASSESSMENT RESULTS The Societal Assessment found no single issue or cluster of issues that would preclude the further development of an SPS Reference System for use in the post-2000 time period. Although SPS land requirements are large and the acquisition of the sixty specific rectenna sites needed will be difficult, both problems appear to be manageable. Estimated material and energy resource demands are well within U.S. capabilities. Institutions appear equal to the task of accommodating the SPS even though some of them will require rather profound modification. International implications are extensive and will require complex negotiations and agreements; assurance of geostationary orbit availability will require early consideration. Public concerns about SPS tend to focus on the biological effects of microwave radiation, the tendency it may have to further centralize our energy resources and society in general, the economics of the system, and its international (particularly military) implications . A. RESOURCE AVAILABILITY Physical resources considered most critical to SPS are land, energy, and materials. The general objectives of studies addressing these issues were: • To identify resource requirements based on the SPS Reference System; and • To identify potential resource availability problems and, where possible, strategies for overcoming them. A series of preliminary resource assessment studies were conducted. Based on these findings, further analyses pursued the materials and rectenna siting studies and developed a prototype Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for a hypothetical rectenna site. 1. Land Use-Rectenna Siting5 The approach to the land availability problem has been to identify those areas of the contiguous U.S. that cannot be used for siting SPS rectennas. These areas, in the continental United States (CONUS), have been identified
using a series of computer-generated maps which show areas of land excluded on the basis of certain criteria represented by the "exclusion variables" of Exhibit 1. Areas not identified with exclusion variables have been determined to be "eligible" for rectenna siting, pending further analysis. It has also been assumed that the eligible areas must be close enough to major electrical utility load centers to represent a reasonable solution to utility integration concerns. Thus, the need to find sufficient land for all 60 rectennas in the Reference System is one factor; suitably-located land is another. In addition to those exclusion variables which absolutely preclude rectenna siting (e.g., land traversed by interstate highways), land potentially can be excluded due to a high probability of some adverse effect arising from the siting of a rectenna (e.g., if the given piece of land being mapped contains Indian reservations). Since too little is known currently about the biological effects of SPS microwave power transmission on avian species, another category of variable, "Potential Exclusion—Impact Unknown," was created. This variable specifically excludes the flyways of migratory waterfowl, flyways which are well known and easily identified. Design/cost variables also represent possible exclusion, depending upon rectenna design/cost tradeoffs. The absolute exclusion variables were plotted on USGS 7.5 minute quad maps, as shown in Exhibit 2. Each grid cell measures 13 km on a side, roughly the size of a rectenna site. After mapping the full set of 15 absolute exclusion variables, 60 percent of CONUS was found to be nominally ineligible for rectenna siting. Of the 40 percent of the U.S. considered "eligible," large areas are in the Great Basin of the West and in the Plains states. There are, however, areas of eligible cells throughout the United States; only three states, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New Jersey are without a single eligible cell. Further, an analysis of the nine electric power planning regions within CONUS indicates an apparently adequate number of nominally eligible sites in all regions in comparison to projected electrical generation through the year 2000. Adding potential exclusion variables, 19 percent of the U.S. land area is eligible for rectenna siting. Waterfowl flyways have only a minor residual impact on the number of eligible areas in CONUS. However, the exclusion of
EXHIBIT 1: CATEGORIES OF MAPPED VARIABLES ABSOLUTE EXCLUSION VARIABLES Inland Water Military Reservations DOE Atomic Energy Research and Testing Lands National Recreation Areas Standard Metropolitan Statistical Areas Adjusted Population Density Marshland Vegetation Perennially Flooded Areas Endangered Species Interstate Highways Navigable Waterways Topography Unacceptable EMC-A150* (Electromagnetic Compatibility) EMC-A100 (Electromagnetic Compatibility) EMC-A50 (Electromagnetic Compatibility) POTENTIAL EXCLUSION VARIABLES - HIGH PROBABILITY OF IMPACT Indian Reservations National Forests and Grasslands Wild and Scenic Rivers Agricultural Lands - Mostly Cropland Agricultural Lands - Irrigated EMC-P150 (Electromagnetic Compatibility) EMC-P100 (Electromagnetic Compatibility) EMC-P60 (Electromagnetic Compatibility) EMC-50 (Electromagnetic Compatibility) POTENTIAL EXCLUSION VARIABLES - IMPACT UNKNOWN Flyways of Migratory Waterfowl - Ducks Flyways of Migratory Waterfowl - Geese DESIGN/COST VARIABLES Tornado Occurrence Acid Rainfall Snowfall Freezing Rain Sheet Rainfall Wind Lightning Density Hail Seismic Risk Timbered Areas Water Availability ♦Numbers refer to minimum separation, in kilometers, from the nearest rectenna.
Exhibit 2. Summary Map of Absolute Exclusion Variables
land under the flyways of the other 400 species of U.S. migratory birds could seriously deplete the remaining eligible areas. Such exclusion depends on two currently unknown factors: (1) the effect of microwave radiation on these species, and (2) the precise locations and densities of their flyways. Both eligible and ineligible areas were validated, and sensitivity analyses were conducted to better gauge the relationship among exclusion variables and between eligible and ineligible areas. The validation indicated that all excluded areas had been properly excluded. However, of the nominally eligible areas, the validation effort indicated that 47 percent pose potentially costly topographic problems and that 24 percent might be excluded for reasons other than topography. This implies that approximately 15 percent of the U.S. remains eligible after validation. Site specific studies and incorporation of potential exclusions would further reduce the percentage. Sensitivity analyses indicated that reduction of the rectenna area by one-fourth or one-half would provide a very minor net increase (less than 30 percent) in the number of eligible cells. Reduction of rectenna size would, however, ease the problem of site acquisition. Where land sites are unavailable, offshore sites may be an alternative. However, since no preferred design for an offshore rectenna was available, studies consisted only of mapping and analyzing those variables that would be applicable regardless of design. On this basis about half of the relatively narrow West Coast continental shelf is excluded but only about one-fourth of the Gulf and East Coast shelves are manifestly unsuitable for rectenna sites. 2. Prototype Environmental Assessment1 Preliminary studies indicated a need to assess the impacts of rectenna construction and operation at a specific site. Therefore, a prototype environmental assessment was prepared for a site in the California desert about 250 kilometers north of Los Angeles. This site was selected because background data had recently been assembled and analyses performed as part of the Environmental Impact Statement for a geothermal project in the same area. Thus the rectenna environmental assessment required only the hypothetical placement of a rectenna in the area and alteration of the analyses to make the work
applicable to the SPS Societal Assessment. Among the socioeconomic considerations addressed were land use, demography, government/social services, economic impact, and cultural resources. The Rose Valley/Coso area (see Exhibit 3) was selected for this prototype study, because it has many characteristics suitable for an SPS rectenna site. It offers reasonably suitable terrain, and it is located in a sparsely populated rural area not far from a major electrical load center. In general, the area is typical of physical, natural and socioeconomic conditions throughout the Basin and Range Physiographic Province, which encompasses much of the southwestern United States. It should be noted, however, that selection of the study site is not the result of SPS program screening efforts. In fact, Rose Valley has some serious drawbacks as a potential rectenna site. For example, it is partly within the boundaries of the China Lake Naval Weapons Center, a critical defense facility. This would make it difficult to obtain the site for SPS use and would pose communications interference problems. For this study, these incompatible features were ignored, and the assessment proceeded as if the site were, in fact, totally suitable for an SPS rectenna. Foremost among the critical parameters revealed in this prototype as- sessment is the size—roughly 150 km —and intensivity of use of the contiguous land area required by an SPS rectenna. The land area required would be an ellipse with a length of 13.4 km north-south and a width of 10.0 km eastwest (36° N latitude). Surrounding the rectenna field would be a fenced buffer zone to prevent people and animals from inadvertently entering the low- intensity fringes of the microwave beam. Preparation of the land area would require total modification of the environment. Further, once the coordinates of the rectenna field boundaries are established, there is essentially no flexibility in siting individual rectenna structures to avoid specific sensitive areas (e.g., an important archaeological site). The inflexibility of rectenna land-use requirements suggests that SPS site selection activities should focus on identifying sites that are larger than the minimum rectenna requirements. A larger site would preserve a measure of flexibility in rectenna field placement that would be unavailable in a site of barely sufficient size.
Exhibit 3. Site of Prototype Environment Assessment
The two-year rectenna construction schedule called for in the Reference System has a number of potentially significant implications relating to socioeconomic impacts on the siting region. The peak construction phase would seriously impact air quality, water supplies, and biological resources. The annual level of in-migration of construction workers, not including dependents and secondary employees associated with rectenna development, averages 2,500; with a peak of 3,200. There are also possible logistical problems, particularly with regard to the delivery to the site of enormous quantities of construction materials during the peak construction period. The delivery of 10 million tons of aggregate, 1.4 million tons of cement, and 370,000 tons of steel would require 2,400 heavy truck trips per day or six 100-car unit trains per day. An extended construction period would reduce the volume of deliveries at any one time and contribute to a diminution of all construction impacts, except the length of time they are present. 1 9 3. Energy Requirements Several energy analyses of the SPS have been conducted. In general, energy analysis attempts to determine the energy efficiency of a power plant. Other things being equal, it is better to build plants that require less energy for construction and maintenance. Two common measures of energy efficiency are energy ratio and payback period. The former is the net energy derived from a plant over its lifetime divided by the energy required to construct and maintain the plant. The payback period is the length of time the plant would be required to operate to generate the energy used in its construction and maintenance. It is customary to exclude the operating fuel when making these calculations and to restrict the energy requirements to nonrenewable sources. Under these conditions the SPS energy ratio is favorable, although usually less than coal and nuclear plants, depending on the specific assumptions used. Including nonrenewable fuel in the calculation makes SPS much better than coal or nuclear, since SPS is based on renewable energy. Energy payback periods for SPS have been calculated in the range of 1 to 6 years. Equivalent energy ratios would be 5 to 30. Coal and nuclear plants typically have energy ratios in the 5 to 15 range, excluding fuel. Uncertainties are larger for SPS
and stem from the relative lack of definition in the constituent materials, uncertainties regarding their energy intensities and the variety of models available for deriving the energy ratio or payback period. 9 2 9 4. Materials Requirements Materials assessment studies resulted in both a methodology for performing an assessment and actual assessment results. The heart of the methodology is a computerized materials screening process using a data base containing information on raw and bulk materials—including energy consumption—from which new systems, as well as their components and subsystems, are manufactured. The data base currently contains about 2,000 entries covering more than 260 materials as well as estimates of present and future U.S. and world consumption, prices, U.S. imports, and dominant non-U.S. suppliers. The screening program tells planners how much expansion in capacity will be needed to produce the projected quantities of each material, how much of the material comes from abroad, and its cost per unit of electricity produced. Materials that exceed critical threshold values are flagged to assure that they will be studied more closely. Thresholds can be changed and the analysis rapidly rerun to determine sensitivities. Quantities of basic materials required for the SPS were estimated and compared against projected supplies, production capabilities and sources. Assessment of these SPS material requirements indicated a number of potential supply problems. The more serious of these were solar cell materials (gallium, gallium arsenide, sapphire, and solar grade silicon), and the graphite fiber required for the satellite structure and space construction facilities. Two options for solar cell material (silicon and gallium arsenide) are part of the Reference System. In general, the gallium arsenide SPS option exhibits more serious problems than the silicon option, possibly because gallium arsenide technology is not as well developed as that for silicon. The only problems of serious concern involving a material that appears in both SPS reference concepts are those associated with graphite fiber production. The annual production growth rate to meet the combined requirements of the SPS and the automobile industry could be in the 20-30 percent range sustained for a decade or more. Also, depending on the type of fiber selected,
graphite fiber could become one of the highest material cost contributors to the SPS. Although no insurmountable materials problems are currently evident, materials definition for the SPS (both as to quantities and specific kinds) is in a fairly primitive state. Similar analyses will be required as the detailed materials requirements become better defined. B. INSTITUTIONAL ISSUES The objectives in assessing institutional issues related to SPS have been to (1) define key institutional interfaces, (2) determine how institutional mechanisms would have to change to permit SPS development and (3) establish an information base on these issues. Four major issue areas— financial and management scenarios, regulatory issues, utility integration and insurance for development and operations—were identified as reflecting major institutional interfaces which would clearly influence the SPS, or which would be most directly impacted by SPS. 1. Financial and Management Scenarios16 30 The financial attractiveness of a project depends on the relationship between anticipated rewards and expected risks. Potential problems, or the downside risk, would play a major role in SPS project financing, and at this time is considered high. Four categories of downside risk that have been considered are: • SPS malfunction • Potential international repercussions • Opportunity costs associated with alternative systems • Engineering costs/overruns The SPS Reference System scenario assumes implementation of 60 units in the 2000-2030 time period. Cash flow analyses under several sets of assumptions (including power demand and availability, price of electricity, and R&D costs) produced preliminary "best estimate” returns on investment ranging between four and fifteen percent. The cost of electricity at the entry point
to the utility grid has been determined to be the most important factor determining cash flow and the rate of return. The cost of electricity would primarily determine the extent of private participation in SPS financing. However, the large capital requirements for SPS through R&D and initial operation tend to favor some form of public sector financing. The federal government, or a consortium of governments, may in fact be the only viable source of financing during start-up operations. The private sector, nevertheless, would participate from the beginning in a supplier/contractor role. Financial and management requirements for the SPS will differ markedly for each of its stages of growth and according to the degree of international involvement. A joint venture partnership between government and the private sector is possible if it is compatible with the interests of international parties. Alternatively, private sector finance mechanisms, compatible with international private sector involvement, provide other potential finance models. The Communications Satellite Corporation (COMSAT) has been identified as a likely model for a national endeavor, while the International Telecommunications Satellite Organization (INTELSAT), the International Maritime Satellite Organization (INMARSAT) and the International Energy Agency (IEA), have been identified as operating models for an international SPS. 2. Regulatory Issues Regulation covers a broad spectrum of concerns. Two were selected for emphasis in CDEP. In the first, state and local regulations applicable to the construction and operation of power plants were analyzed to see how they might apply to SPS rectennas. In the second, the historical background and likely future of the regulation of microwave radiation was established. 2 n a. State and Local Regulation Regulation of power plant siting, construction and operation falls primarily under the jurisdiction of state and local government entities. Currently, state and local regulation is in a state of flux and inadequate to deal with the SPS. The state Public Utility Commissions' approval of utilities' precommitment to the SPS may be conditional on government guarantees regarding electric power pricing. States want and are asserting increasing control over powerplant planning.
Many states are creating a de facto trend toward decentralization in energy policy. SPS, however, is inherently a centralized power source and will require regional coordination of powerplant regulation and transmission interties. And, while there is increasing regionalization of utility planning for generation and transmission, there is no corresponding regional coordination of regulations. Land-intensive SPS rectennas may require federally mandated, state coordinated land use and energy planning. Where federal preemption of certain state and local regulatory authority exists (as could be the case with microwave radiation regulation), state and local policies may conflict with federal policies on the SPS, with state and local regulations generally being more restrictive. Another regulatory problem not unique to SPS, but which could impact its rate of development and deployment, is the time required to gain regulatory approvals for powerplant siting and operations. The effects of the time required, now estimated to be at least a decade, could be more severe for SPS than for other technologies because of the greater number of regulatory entities likely to be involved. The establishment of a national power grid, currently under study at the federal level, may alleviate or solve some of these problems. b. Regulation of Microwave Radiation11 Currently there are no federal standards protecting the worker and/or the general public from the potential hazards of nonionizing microwave radiation exposure. The SPS power transmission system would transmit power to the rectenna via a microwave energy beam. The configuration of microwave density in the vicinity of the rectenna is shown in Exhibit 4. The U.S. "voluntary" guideline of 10/mW/cm2 is a recommended value for occupational exposure set at a value 10 times below the known threshold for biological damage and was established by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in 1966. It has been adopted by most of the Western World. Soviet and Eastern European microwave exposure standards are three to four orders of magnitude lower than comparable U.S. values. To a large degree, discrepancies between Eastern and Western standards are due to contrasting philosophies. For the U.S. and a majority of western countries, the concept of a risk/benefit criterion has been accepted in setting standards. This involves the use of an adequate safety margin below a known threshold of hazard.
Exhibit 4. Density of 2.45 GHZ Microwave Beam at Rectenna Location
On the other hand, Soviet and most East European microwave standards are based on a "no effect" philosophy—all deviations from normal are hazardous. Yet to be determined are definitions of what connotes a "hazard" or an "adequate" safety margin in terms of exposure to microwave radiation. At this time, there is no single agency interface on microwave radiation standards. The lead federal agencies with regulatory responsibilities for microwave radiation are the Department of Health and Human Services (H&HS), the Department of Labor (DOL), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Each of these agencies contains specialized research or advisory bureaus to assist in establishing and enforcing microwave regulations. However, the federal regulatory process is now under review by the recently formed Federal Council on Radiation Protection, chaired by the Administrator of EPA. A trend toward stricter microwave radiation standards, particularly those pertaining to public health, has been observed. The need for additional research is central to adopting public and workplace standards. Of particular relevance to SPS is the initiation of programs of long-term, low-level microwave exposure. Coupled with new developments in instrumentation and dosimetry, the results from chronic exposure programs and population exposure studies could be expected within the next five to ten years. . .7 3. Utility Integration An examination of the potential for utility ownership of SPS ground facilities suggests that institutional problems would inhibit utilities from bulk power purchase or ground station ownership at least until the SPS is successfully demonstrated. Ownership of both ground stations and satellites by U.S. utilities or utility consortia would be unlikely until a number of satellite-rectenna pairs are successfully operating and until the risk of system uncertainties (cost, reliability, etc.) are significantly reduced. Also, no regulatory framework currently exists at interstate levels; therefore, regional problems of consortium-owned power plants or utilities serving several states will not be easily resolved. State regulatory, rate, and siting procedures would make it difficult for utilities to own SPS ground stations. Ways to mitigate the lack of interstate coordination are to: (1) form interstate planning compacts; (2) form regional utility corporations with
federal pre-emption for rate and siting regulation; or (3) have federal ownership of ground stations, and sale of bulk power to local utilities. Considering the financing, risk and lead time for the SPS, as well as the contractual and planning time that is involved, utilities would require strong incentives for early involvement in the SPS. Guarantees and long-lived contracts on SPS development scheduling, pricing, and legal liability are critical to successful integration with utilities, especially to solicit them as rectenna owners. It is clear that the SPS poses special problems with regard to technical integration issues. Among these are power fluctuations, power level control, stability, reliability, generation size (5 GW) and utility mix requirements. However, a mapping exercise incorporating the probable distribution of demand load centers and rectenna sites determined that these obstacles could be overcome. Sites were limited to "eligible" areas, as defined in the parallel rectenna siting study,5 and further constrained by key proxies for critical utility planning and operations integration considerations. These key proxies are: • That the rectennas be allocated to each region in the proportions indicated by the 1995-2000 electric generation capacity. • That each rectenna be sited within the ERC region served or, at worst, within 100 km of that regional boundary. • That SPS power provide no more than 25 percent of the peakload power of any load center. • That each rectenna distribute its power along five transmission corridors, each carrying approximately 1000 megawatts (MW). • That no transmission corridor exceed 500 km (approximately 300 miles). It was found that even with these rather severe constraints, 60 SPS units could be integrated into projected utility networks using state-of-the-art transmission and generation technology. Few technical/operational disincentives exist in the integration of 5 GW increments of SPS power. As long as SPS represents less than roughly 15 percent of a system's capacity (25 percent baseload), few problems arise with regard to system reliability. However,
locating suitable eligible areas in the East to support this constraint could be a problem. Transmission distance problems (greater than 500 km) could be encountered in the West; however, power is already being transmitted much farther by the electric utilities with no intractable technical problems. What may have greater significance is that transmission corridors would consistently cross state lines, electrical power service area lines, and National Electric Reliability Council boundaries as shown in Exhibit 5. This raises again many of the institutional considerations discussed earlier and confirms that the utility integration problem is more institutional than technical. 2 3 4. Insurance The SPS concept poses many exposures to both financial loss and liability to third parties. As with more traditional risks, insurance could be provided to protect against certain of these exposures during both pre-operational and operational phases. The international underwriting community has shown a willingness to insure the sizeable risks associated with today's telecommunications satellites. This precedent could serve as a basis for the acceptance of SPS ground and space-related exposure. The major risks associated with the program stem from both the financial losses that could be incurred and the liability exposures presented by extensive launch, recovery and space-construction activities. The possible environmental effects of both the ground and space segments also present a substantial degree of risk. The interrelation of so many participants, combined with the need for a continuous flow of resources into space and to launch/rectenna sites, forms a dynamic system that could be severely damaged by catastrophic loss at a number of key points. The effects of the overall SPS effort, moreover, will extend into an international realm that today does not provide for the sharing of liability exposures among what would be a consortium of diverse countries. Even if constructed as a domestic effort, the exposure to international lawsuits is not clear at this time. Underwriters do not presently have a basis for assessing either the possible origins of claims or their severity. However, maintaining a close
Exhibit 5. SPS Utility Integration
liaison with the world insurance market as the SPS concept is developed could result in coverage for many SPS exposures. A consistent educational process would allow underwriters to identify periods of exposure for which policies could be designed and would allow market capacity for these risks to increase gradually to achieve required levels. C. INTERNATIONAL IMPLICATIONS The implications of SPS deployment are international in scope. An SPS would use outer space and radio frequency spectrum resources that are within the international domain. At the same time, energy delivered by the SPS could be shared globally by developed and developing nations alike. International participation in its deployment could contribute to the improvement of international relations with regard to equitable energy distribution and consumption. Three important international issues were identified: controls expected to be exercised by international organizations through enforcement of treaties governing operations in space and new agreements (e.g., on microwave radiation, geostationary orbit, and radio frequency assignment) that may be required because of the unique aspects of the SPS; international organizational structures to manage the research, development and operations of the SPS; and real or perceived military implications of the SPS. 8 15 1. International Agreements The present legal regime governing activities in outer space, to which the SPS would be subject, encompasses two international organizations and three treaties: • the U.N. Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOS) • the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) • 1967 Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, Including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies (U.N.) • 1973 Telecommunications Convention and Final Protocol Treaty • 1972 Convention on International Liability for Damage Caused by Space Objects (U.N.)
Within UNCOPUOS, there has been little direct attention given to the potential importance of collecting and transmitting solar energy from space to earth. The Committee has shown significant interest in outer space, however, as exhibited by the long-running international debate over the draft Treaty Governing the Activities of States on the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies (the Moon Treaty). Under the 1967 Principles Treaty, the space environment is considered to be open to all who are able to use it. The radio frequency spectrum, the geostationary orbit, and solar energy are considered natural resources of the space environment. As such, they fall within the "province of all mankind" pursuant to the 1967 Principles Treaty. In the case of the SPS, the consideration of space and its environs as the "province of all mankind" raises the question as to who should benefit from the space resource. The finite geostationary orbit space and increasing competition for its use will influence slot availability for the SPS. Some nations argue that the long-term use of a geostationary orbit slot is the same as appropriating it and is, therefore, in violation of existing international agreements. States with space capabilities have clearly established a customary rule of law, whereby outer space exists beyond the sovereignty of any nation-state. This rule exists in the absence of a formal delimitation between airspace and outer space and in the face of the Bogota Declaration, issued by eight equatorial countries asserting sovereignty over the geostationary orbit above their territory. Attaining SPS orbital slots will, at a minimum, require: (1) some consensus on the first come, first served principle; (2) demonstration of efficient economic use and benefit to all; and (3) recognition that permanent utilization (i.e., ownership) of the orbital slot is not legal. The International Telecommunications Union (ITU), an autonomous, specialized agency of the United Nations, is now governed by the Telecommunications Convention and Final Protocol. Under this and previous Telecommunications Conventions, the ITU allocates use of radio frequencies, including microwave frequencies. The ITU is also responsible for preventing broadcast interference. There is a trend at ITU to link the radio spectrum with geostationary orbit position. Since 1973, the position of the ITU has consistently been that the geostationary orbit is a limited resource along with
the radio fregency spectrum. However, since the SPS has a power transmission, rather than a communications transmission, function, the ITU may not have authority over it. The 1972 Liability Convention covers the subject of harm caused by orbiting space objects. The convention also prohibits adverse changes in the environment. Although there is a present lack of knowledge about the health and environmental effects of low-level microwave exposure, clearly, a launching State would be internationally liable for harm produced by microwave radiation emanating from a space object. The U.S., or any organization operating the SPS, must have general international acceptance of microwave exposure standards in order to be safe from potential negligence suits. International agreement on microwave exposure standards may be reached much faster if a framework of bilateral agreements has been established between the U.S. and other countries. The primary conclusion, after considering the legal regime to which the SPS would be subject, is that there are no unusual prohibitions against SPS deployment which could not be dealt with through international agreements. In terms of liability for operation of the SPS and its component parts, the scope and quality of international tort laws offer encouragement to those who may wish to embark on SPS programs. A future international regime governing activities in outer space, including SPS, will be influenced by a series of other international activities, including: • The Law of the Sea negotiations • The Moon Treaty debate • World Administrative Radio Conferences • Deliberations regarding the legal status of the geostationary orbit The Law of the Sea negotiations are establishing precedents for the management of "common heritage" resources among nations and private parties. The outcome of these negotiations could produce another model of an organizational structure to develop and operate the SPS on an international basis. The concept of an international agency, such as the proposed Seabed Authority,
controlling and equitably disposing of the benefits of resource exploitation on behalf of the world community would be a powerful precedent-setting accomplishment . The Moon Treaty has been the subject of negotiations within the UNCOPUOS for about 10 years. The main points of contention are possible restrictions placed upon space resource nations (particularly the United States) in the exploitation of the resources of the solar system. If the Moon Treaty should be ratified in its present form, there would be no immediate impact on the SPS in its reference configuration. The geostationary orbit is not covered in the treaty, and only earth resources are contemplated for SPS development. Furthermore, in the interim period (prior to establishment of an international regime to oversee lunar resource utilization) it is clear that the U.S. could construct pilot SPS plants, even those using lunar materials. Since there is so much ambiguity associated with the language of the treaty, these activities would represent a powerful precedent, which legal experts would be unlikely to ignore. At the 1979 World Administrative Radio Conference (WARC-79), Third World nations were in the majority for the first time. They had been expected to demand a larger share of the radio-frequency spectrum hitherto dominated by the industrialized nations. This expectation was based in part on ideological opposition to some of the U.S. proposals offered at WARC-79. The Third World nations also feared that they were not technologically competent enough to ensure their retention of a fair share of the radio frequency spectrum. The U.S. won support or reduced opposition to its proposals at WARC-79 by being conscientious in explaining their positions and technical issues and by promising to share technology with Third World countries. Questions concerning the use of the geostationary orbit also have been formally considered in this forum at least since the WARC-71 revision of the radio regulations concerning coordination of geostationary satellite positions. The Law of the Sea negotiations and the Moon Treaty debate also indicate a strong Third World desire to share the benefits of applying advanced technology to the problems of resource utilization. The geostationary orbit debate is a manifestation of an underlying political dispute over the implementation and interpretation of the