Biggest solar eclipse since 1999 could plunge Britain into darkness

An eclipse of the sun next month could disrupt Europe’s power supplies because so many countries now use solar energy, electricity system operators have warned.

“The risk of incident cannot be completely ruled out,” the European Network Transmission System Operators for Electricity said on Monday, adding the eclipse on March 20 would be “an unprecedented test for Europe’s electricity system”.

Solar power covered just 0.1 per cent of all the electricity produced in Europe from renewable energy sources around the time of the last large solar eclipse in Europe in 1999, according to the network, known as ENTSO-E.

But since then solar power generation has soared to at least 10.5 per cent, as countries subsidise green power to meet EU renewable energy targets.

ENTSO-E said the eclipse could play a bigger role in places such as Germany, Europe’s largest economy, which now gets more than a quarter of its electricity from renewable generators and like other EU nations is connected with neighbouring countries’ grid systems.

The organisation also said it had been planning co-ordinated “countermeasures” for several months to help protect the continent’s power system from the eclipse, which is due begin at 08:40 on March 20 and end at 12:50 Central European Time and should be visible across Europe…

See also here. h/t Marvin