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Solar Eclipse Puts Europe’s Power Supplies At Risk

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Pilita Clark, Financial Times

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

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

“The whole of the European area is concerned either directly or indirectly,” it added, but countries with a large amount of solar power, such as Germany and Italy, are likely to be of most concern.

The network said it had been planning coordinated “countermeasures” for several months to help protect the continent’s interconnected power system from the eclipse, which is due between 08:40 and 12:50 Central European Time and should be visible across Europe.

Power system operators are planning to hold special teleconferences across Europe during the eclipse and will “resort to the usual emergency procedures to protect the system if the need arises”, the network said.

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