Solar Eclipse will Test Europe’s Power Supplies

The upcoming solar eclipse on March 20 could temporarily disrupt Europe’s electricity supply due to increasing use of solar power generation

Next month's solar eclipse could be more than a spectacular natural phenomenon, with operators warning it posed an “unprecedented test” for Europe's power supplies.

The eclipse is due to take place on March 20 and will mark first time that Europe's solar-energy use has been significant enough to disrupt its grids, the European Network of System Operators for Electricity (ENTSOE) has said. 

The last solar eclipse took place in 1999, when a tiny percentage of electricity supplies relied on solar energy. According to Eurostat, nearly three percent of Europe's total electricity supplies are dependent on the sun. 

Transmission system operators have been preparing for the eclipse for months, ENTSOE said, but warned it still posed a threat to Europe's electricity system. 

“Despite…preparations and coordination, the risk of incident cannot be completely ruled out,” the Group said in a press release. 

The eclipse is expected to cast a shadow across Europe for a few hours, and will affect countries stretching from Turkey to Greenland and Spain to Norway. 

Many analysts believe that the eclipse will not cause any issues and they share the perception that grid operators would have planned to compensate for any drop in power with gas-fired generation. Moreover, solar farms are almost always combined with power from other sources to improve reliability. As a result, it is highly likely that anywhere will experience power supply issues.

 

Source: CNBC news