Summary: H.R.12874 — 95th Congress (1977-1978)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed Senate amended (10/10/1978)

(Measure passed Senate, amended, in lieu of S. 3392)

Solar Photovoltaic Energy Research, Development, and Demonstration Act - Directs the Secretary of Energy to establish programs for researching, developing, and demonstrating solar photovoltaic energy systems with the long-term objective of producing electricity from such systems cost competitive with utility-generated electricty from conventional sources. Authorizes the Secretary to provide up to 75 percent of the purchase and installation costs of such systems or their components.

Requires the Secretary to formulate performance criteria, to be revised annually, for such systems, and requires any photovoltaic component or system procured or installed by the Federal Government or with Federal assistance to conform to such criteria.

Establishes a Solar Photovoltaic Energy Advisory Committee to study: (1) the scope, pace, and peculiar needs of research in solar photovoltaic energy systems; and (2) the economic, technological, and environmental consequences of the use of such systems.

Requires the Secretary to disseminate full and complete information with respect to demonstrations to promote practical use of solar voltaic technologies, but exempts trade secrets and other proprietary information from such public disclosure.

Directs the Secretary to make recommendations to the President and to Congress relating to barriers to the early and widespread utilization of photovoltaic systems, including: (1) the potential for integration of electricity derived from such systems into the existing national grid; (2) the extent of competition between firms currently engaged in the fabrication and installation of such systems as it affects the character and growth potential of the American photovoltaic industry; (3) the need to identify legal alternatives to ensure access to direct sunlight for photovoltaic energy systems; (4) the availability of private capital at reasonable interest rates for individuals and businesses to establish commercial enterprises to manufacture, market, install, and/or, maintain photovoltaic components and systems; (5) the need for industry-wide warranty and reliability standards for photovoltaic energy components and systems for private sector applications; and (6) the attainability of the goals of this Act.

Authorizes the Secretary to encourage international participation and cooperation in the development and maintenance of programs established under this plan.

Requires the Secretary to assure that small business concerns will have realistic and adequate opportunities to participate in the programs under this Act to the maximum extent practicable. Directs the Secretary to set aside at least ten percent of the funds authorized and appropriated for this Act for the participation of small business concerns.

Directs the Secretary to set program priorities according to specified criteria.

Authorizes the appropriation of $125,000,000 for carrying out the provisions of this Act in fiscal year 1979. Provides that authorizations for subsequent years shall be contained in the annual authorization for the Department of Energy.