42 USC 5581 - Congressional findings and declaration of policy

(a) The Congress hereby finds that
(1) the United States of America is faced with a finite and diminishing resource base of native fossil fuels, and as a consequence must develop as quickly as possible a diversified, pluralistic national energy capability and posture;
(2) the current imbalance between supply and demand for fuels and energy in the United States is likely to grow for many years;
(3) the early demonstration of the feasibility of using solar photovoltaic energy systems for the generation of electricity could help to relieve the demand on existing fuel and energy supplies;

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(4) the national security and economic well-being of the United States is endangered by its dependence on imported energy supplies which are subject to resource limitations, artificial pricing mechanisms which do not accurately reflect supply and demand relationships, and supply interruptions;
(5) the early development and widespread utilization of photovoltaic energy systems could significantly expand the domestic energy resource base of the United States, thereby lessening its dependence on foreign supplies;
(6) the establishment of sizable markets for photovoltaic energy systems will justify private investment in plant and equipment necessary to realize the economies of scale, and will result in significant reductions in the unit costs of these systems;
(7) the use of solar photovoltaic energy systems for certain limited applications has already proved feasible;
(8) there appear to be no insoluble technical obstacles to the widespread commercial use of solar photovoltaic energy technologies;
(9) an aggressive research and development program should solve existing technical problems of solar photovoltaic systems; and, supported by an assured and growing market for photovoltaic systems during the next decade, should maximize the future contribution of solar photovoltaic energy to this Nations future energy production;
(10) it is the proper and appropriate role of the Federal Government to undertake research, development, and demonstration programs in solar photovoltaic energy technologies and to supplement and assist private industry and other entities and thereby the general public, so as to hasten the general commercial use of such technologies;
(11) the high cost of imported energy sources impairs the economic growth of many nations which lack sizable domestic energy supplies or are unable to develop these resources;
(12) photovoltaic energy systems are economically competitive with conventional energy resources for a wide variety of applications in many foreign nations at the present time, and will find additional applications with continued cost reductions;
(13) the early development and export of solar photovoltaic energy systems, consistent with the established preeminence of the United States in the field of high technology products, can make a valuable contribution to the well-being of the people of other nations and to this Nations balance of trade;

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(14) the widespread use of solar photovoltaic energy systems to supplement and replace conventional methods for the generation of electricity would have a beneficial effect upon the environment;
(15) to increase the potential application of solar photovoltaic energy systems in remote locations, and to minimize the need for backup systems depending on fossil fuel, programs leading to the development of inexpensive and reliable systems for the storage of electricity should be pursued as part of any solar photovoltaic energy research, development, and demonstration program;
(16) evaluation of the performance and reliability of solar photovoltaic energy technologies can be expedited by testing of prototypes under carefully controlled conditions;
(17) commercial application of solar photovoltaic energy technologies can be expedited by early commercial demonstration under practical conditions;
(18) photovoltaic energy systems are currently adaptable on a life cycle, cost-justified basis for certain of the energy needs of the Federal Government, and will find additional applications as continued refinements improve performance and reduce unit costs;
(19) the Federal Government can stimulate innovation and economic efficiency in the production of photovoltaic energy systems through the development and implementation of policies to promote diversity and maximum competition between firms engaged in the research, manufacture, installation, and/or maintenance of these systems;
(20) innovation and creativity in the development of solar photovoltaic energy components and systems can be fostered through encouraging direct contact between the manufacturers of such systems and the architects, engineers, developers, contractors, and other persons interested in utilizing such systems; and
(21) it is contemplated that the ten-year program established by this subchapter will require the expenditure of $1,500,000,000 by the Federal Government.
(b) It is therefore declared to be the policy of the United States and the purpose of this subchapter to establish during the next decade an aggressive research, development, and demonstration program involving solar photovoltaic energy systems and in the long term, to have as an objective the production of electricity from photovoltaic systems cost competitive with utility-generated electricity from conventional sources. Further, it is declared to be the policy of the United States and the purpose of this subchapter that the objectives of this research, development, and demonstration program are
(1) to double the production of solar photovoltaic energy systems each year during the decade starting with fiscal year 1979, measured by the peak generating capacity of the systems produced, so as to reach a total annual United States production of solar photovoltaic energy systems of approximately two million peak kilowatts, and a total cumulative production of such systems of approximately four million peak kilowatts by fiscal year 1988;
(2) to reduce the average cost of installed solar photovoltaic energy systems to $1 per peak watt by fiscal year 1988; and
(3) to stimulate the purchase by private buyers of at least 90 per centum of all solar photovoltaic energy systems produced in the United States during fiscal year 1988.