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Under the direction of the Energy Research and Development Administration (ERDA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration is responsible for developing, testing, and evaluating large wind energy systems, and the Department of Agriculture is responsible for identifying, developing, and testing applications in rural and remote areas. Of the funds specifically designated for small, medium, and large systems from July 1974 through September 1976, more than 82 percent had been spent on large systems. The ERDA emphasis on these systems has been based on its belief that: well-defined commercial markets exist for large systems but not for small and medium-sized systems; large systems will provide cheaper power than the small and medium-sized; Federal assistance will be needed by industry to develop and commercialize large systems, but little Federal assistance will be needed to develop and commercialize smaller systems; areas needing improvement are well-defined for large systems, but not for the small and medium-sized; and a Federal program to develop small and medium-sized systems would eliminate private investment.

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