The Congressional Office of Technology Assessment invited the Institute for Local Self-Reliance to evaluate the comparative economics rooftop solar arrays and the solar powered satellites (SPS) proposed by NASA that would beam power generated in space back to earth. The report concluded, "If decentralized applications achieve the same array efficiency as those projected for SPS arrays, and if buildings are designed to maximize photovoltaic potential, the residential sector can meet all its energy demands from rooftop arrays, and have enough electricity left over to operate family vehicles, or to export into the grid system."… Read More
Thisreport by David Morris was published (1975) shortly after the first plant manufacturing solar cells for terrestrial applications (Solarex) opened in suburban Washington, D.C. The report examined the embryonic PV industry, which was limited to remote, non-grid connected applications. The report proposed the creation of a government sponsored artificial market where demand would be increased at a steady pace in return for guarantees by companies that they would reduce the price of their product at an equally steady pace. The report also investigated the economies of scale of solar cells and concluded there were few, that rooftop arrays could generate its own power just as, or more efficiently then centralized solar power plants.