Mark Borgerson (Gazette-Times letters, Sept. 7) asked excellent questions about the proposed global power grid that I mentioned in a recent op-ed: "What would the hemispheric interconnect cost? How much power would be lost in transmission? Who will set the price and payment terms for the transferred power?"

There is no way that I, or any other single individual, could answer these questions. As I indicated in a letter written near the end of the Reagan administration, expertise in a number of different fields would be needed:

"The task facing a joint U.S.-Soviet committee of experts would be to try to figure out under what conditions proceeding to begin construction of a worldwide solar power would make political and economic sense. This would depend among other things on how much the cost of solar generation can be reduced, what the total real costs of conventional energy are — including externalities such as environmental risk, costs of constructing and operating the proposed network (which in turn may hinge on future R and D strategies in superconductivity), and political and diplomatic costs and benefits. Clearly the committee should include at a minimum experts on power engineering, manufacturing, accounting (due to cost allocation issues), finance, diplomacy, ecology, geography, meteorology, and military security."

Before these issues could be evaluated, someone needed to come up with the basic idea, and that is what I did. Independently, a top Japanese industrialist named Yukinori Kuwano also came up with the idea. Interested readers can read my documents going back to the Nixon years at my website,, then clicking on "documents."

Paul deLespinasse

Corvallis (Sept. 7)


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