One thing we can be predicted with very high certainty: On March, 20, 2015 most of Germany will see a partial yet substantial eclipse of the sun.
40 gigawatts of rated power blocked in just minutes!
Normally that would be no big deal. But for the first time in history, due to Germany’s massive installed solar capacity of 40 gigawatts, an eclipse of the sun could mean a collapse of Germany’s intense power grid, with possible ramifications for the European power network.
Today’s print edition of Spiegel features an entire story on the coming event, should skies be clear. At it’s online site here it gives a preview of the upcoming event, writing:
The German power grid operators are dreading March 20, 2015. On this day Germany will see a partial solar eclipse during the morning. Should there be no clouds in the sky at this time, all solar power generating systems all over the country would be feeding in drastically less power into the grid in just a matter of minutes – and the grids would become dangerously destabilized.”
Already grid operators are scrambling to avoid such a scenario, and are considering refusing the feed in the power of large solar power plants on that day. Even though the eclipse will sweep across Europe around mid morning, a time well below peak solar power production, no large enough conventional back up system is on hand to react that quickly and that massively on such short notice. Another possibility would be to request large energy consumers in industry to scale back their consumption for the period the eclipse will have an impact.
German T-Online writes:
The shadow of the solar eclipse on March 20, 2015 will sweep across the North Atlantic. Thus in North Germany almost 83% of the sun will be blocked, so reports the website sonnenfinsternis.org. In South Germany it will still be at least 67%. Starting at 50 percent coverage, a solar eclipse is easy to notice.”