President Carter's speech to the nation was greeted last night with applause from many quarters but also with sharp criticism, including pointed partisan attacks.

The varied reaction suggested that more than one speech will be necessary if the president is to regain political strength, let alone solve the nation's energy problems.

Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), the leading member of the House on energy matters, called Carter's address "a very powerful speech - the best he's done." Another influential member of the House, Rep. Morris Udall (D-Ariz.), said it was a good speech, and added that the country "should give him [the president] the benefit of the doubt" until he fills in specifics of his program later.

Sen. Frank Church (D-

At the other end of the spectrum of reaction, Senate Minority Whip Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) lambasted Carter and his speech:

"As I go around the country I don't find people licking their wounds," Stevens said. "The only one I find licking his wounds is the president." Stevens said the speech was "the sermon we all received up at Camp David."

The Alaska Republican noted Carter's statement that nations in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries hold only 5 percent of the world's energy reserves, whereas the United States has 24 percent. Carter "has done nothing and indicated he's going to do nothing to make that available," Stevens charged.

"Sixty percent of it is on federal lands," he said, most of that closed by government order to energy exploration. "In Alaska, where we have probably 40 percent of all the oil and gas potential left in the United States, Carter has closed personally . . . 60 percent of the oil and gas potential.

"I hope in his two or three speeches he realizes he's not Moses coming down off the mountain," Stevens added. "He even mentioned his disciples. That's going a little bit far . . ."

Some other Republicans were less harsh. Sen. Bob Dole (R-Kan.) said that on balance the speech contained "positive ideas" and was well delivered. "If he keeps pushing responsible program he'll find us responsive," Dole said.

NBC television last night used a system of electronic feedback to poll more than 6,000 households in Columbus, Ohio, immediately after they watched the speech. The poll indicated Carter made a good impression on these members of the public, though he left about a quarter of them uncertain or still confused, by their own account.

Of those polled, 61 percent said they felt more optimistic after watching the speech than they were before. Eighteen percent said they werer more pessimistic, and 21 percent said they were confused.

Asked about their confidence in Carter's ability to lead the country, 43 percent said they were more confident, 33 percent said they weren't and 24 percent said they weren't sure.

Curiously, 40 percent said they thought the measures the president outlined to deal with the energy issue were not tough enough, while 39 percent said they were tough enough. The rest weren't sure.

Of these Ohioans, 72 percent told NBC they were convincing they would have to make personal sacrifices in the campaign to make the U.S. more independant of foreign sources of energy. Twenty-three percent said they didn't expect to make a sacrifice.

Former Texas governor John Connally, a Republican candidate for president, said Carter himself is responsible for the lack of confidence in the nation. "It's the lack of confidence in the nation. "It's the president's own inaction," Connally said.

California Gov. Edmund G. (Jerry) Brown Jr., expected to challenge Carter for the Democratic nomination for president, took the opposite tack, nothing that Carter failed to mention nuclear power in his speech. He said he feared increased reliance on nuclear power was "lurking in all that rhetoric, " and urger Carter to turn away from nuclear plants.

House Speaker Thomas P. (Tip) O'Neill called it "one of the strongest speeches I have heard and the best speeches he has made. I am confident the American people will respond with the necessary sacrifices and that Congress will put together in this crisis."

House Majority Leader Jim Wright (D-Tex.) said the president had called for a "bold and workable program. The goals are high but we can achieve them."

"All in all, he has challenged the nation to do our best and I believe we will respond," Wright said.

Sen. Russell B. Long (D-La.), whose Senate Finance Comittee will have to pass on most aspects of Carter's latest energy proposals, noted that the president could have said more about stimulating domestic production of oil and gas. "We must produce more coal, but there are things we can do to get more oil and gas," Long said.

Ralph Nader the self-styled consumer advocate, said "the president's speech will be disappointing to consumers and taxpayers," but "Exxon will like it."

Nader said Carter had proposed "vast taxpayers' subsidies to the oil and coal industries to produce synthetic fuels which will not relieve our energy problems" but will aggravate inflation, strain water resources and the environment and add inflationary pressures."

House Minority Leader John J. Rhodes (R-Ariz.) said: "The main thing is that this is the first time in my knowledge the president has recognized the fact that supply of energy domestically is the name of the game. Always before it has been a matter of conservation. This time he faced up to what we've been telling him so long, that you've got to produce more energy here."

Rhodes said he was worried that the new Energy Security Corp. Carter proposed "might mean nationalization of the whole industry." That sentiment was echoed by other Republicans.

Sen. William Roth (R-Del.) called the speech "eloquent" but said "words must give way to deeds."

Sen. Henry M. Jackson (D-Wash.), chairman of the Senate Energy Committee, commended the president, saying the thrust of his speech was in harmony with energy legislation Jackson has proposed. Jackson said he aims for Senate action on his bill before the August recess.

George Bush, Republican presidential candidate, said he already had called for some of actions Carter proposed, but he wondered how much the program would cost and whether the president would have the follow-through to make his party enact it.

Republican National Chairman William Brock said the president's speech "offers us hope of rallying the American people." The basic problem, he said, remains with the Democratic Congress, which so far has failed to take effective action on energy.

Two governors, Indiana Republican Otis Bowen and Colorado Democart Richard Lamm, speaking for the National Governors' Association, said Carter had described accurately the urgency of the energy problem and said the governors will work with the federal government to secure the nation's energy future.

Rep. Herb Harris (D-Va.) said he thought - and hoped - he saw a hint in Carter's speech that Energy Secretary James R. Schlesinger is on the way out or at least will be mobilization board.

"It's familiar in Washington," Harris observed. "You don't abolish the agency, you create another one, basically to do what we thought the original agency was supposed to do."

Jesse Jackson, head of a Chicago-based civil rights organization, praised the "decisive tone" of the president's speech. He is known to have been the source of the remark quoted by the president last night that the nation's "neck is over the fence."

Two economists who had been at Camp David last week, Arthur M. Okun of Brookings Institution and Lawrence Klein of the Wharton School in Philadelphai, praised Carter's speech and said that it followed the lines they had expected after their Camp David Conversations with him.

But Okun, who was chairman of Lyndon Johnson's economic council, pointed out that the president "didn't go into the economic aspects of his program at all." For example, Carter did not put an overall cost figure on the "massive" development of energy from coal, shale and other sources, he said.

Both Okun and Kelin said that the big chance in Carter's approach was the willingness to commit the nation to developing extensive new sources of energy. "We'll probably do some stupid things in "synfuels," Okum said, "but we'll have some winners too, and a couple of winners may be all we need."

Okun thought the single most impressive part of the speech was the forceful commitment "to forbid" the importation of one drop of oil" beyond the level of imports in 1977 (a relatively high 8.5 billions, before the first influx of Alaskan oil.)

In addition, the president promised that for 1979 and 1980, eh would further cut the import ceilings just agreed upon at the Tokyo economic summit, the same 8.5 million figure.

For 1979, The Washington Post learned, the target will be cut 300,000 barrels to 8.2 million barrels a day.

However, one international enonomist, Lawrence Krause of the Brookings Institution, said that Foreigners would look closely at the specific spending targets for coal, shale and other explorations - targets that presumably will be announced in the president's speeches tonight and later this week. "If there are big bucks involved, will Congress support the program?" Krause asked. In his view, and in the view of some other international specialists, if the nation doesn't sharply cut imports and get a real substitution program under way, the dollar will be in trouble in foreign exchange markets.

Carter sidestepped one recommendation that Klein and some others had made - allowing the price of gasoline in the United States to rise to the world level. "But he resisted that," Klein said, "pointing out that the biggest difference between the United States and the European or Japanese gasoline prices is taxes, and he doubted whether he could get taxes up that high."

Okun said he thought that Carter had done "a better job of getting a needed message across than I've ever heard him do, and a better job than other presidents have done [on energy] for a long time. He sounded very presidential, and the delivery was good." CAPTION: Picture 1, Mr. and Mrs. Jeff Eriksen of Columbus, Ohio, respond to an NBC electronic poll, conducted through an experimental cable system, after Carter's speech. AP; Picture 2, Sens. Nancy Landon Kassebaum (R-Kan.) and Thomas Eagleton (D-Mo.) watch Carter's speech in Kansas City. AP