- There will be a partial solar eclipse in Germany and Northern Europe on June 10 2021 between 11:20 am and 1:40 pm
- In this year’s eclipse, the sun is covered by the moon significantly less, so that generation will decline less sharply than in 2015
- Although there is much more solar generation capacity available in Germany, less lack of generation will have to be compensated for
- As per Transmission System Operators calculations, the generation from solar systems in Germany during this eclipse will drop by a maximum of 4.2 GW
Germany and Northern Europe will wake up to a partial solar eclipse on June 10 2021. This is the first solar eclipse since 2015, and will occur in Germany between 11:20 am and 1:40 pm. Northern Germany achieves the largest sun eclipse with around 20% coverage, while in Southern Germany, the coverage is about 2.5%.
Impact of Solar Eclipse on Solar Systems
As per a report from grid operator Tennet, during the solar eclipse, the PV systems in Germany will generate less electricity. This is clearly seen in the green curve on the graph above. But the power consumption remains constant, hence the lower generation of electricity has to be compensated from other sources. Since the 2015 solar eclipse, there are nearly 50% more solar systems installed in Germany today. However, during this year’s eclipse, the sun will be covered by the moon significantly less, so that generation will decline less sharply than in 2015. Although there is significantly more solar generation capacity in Germany today, less lack of generation will have to be compensated for.
According to the calculations made by Transmission System Operators (TSOs), the generation from solar systems this eclipse will drop by a maximum of 4.2 GW. The TSO markets around two thirds of German solar power, while the remaining third, around 1.4 GW, is brought to market by direct marketers who are not network operators. Since the solar systems are distributed over Germany, not all of them are equally affected by the solar eclipse.
Gearing up for Solar Eclipse
The preparation for the solar eclipse has been going on for several months. The TSOs have informed other market participants about the impending solar eclipse. In May, the network operators had approached the forecast providers for solar generation for initial forecasts for the course of the solar eclipse, and evaluated them.
Even today, a day before the eclipse, the TSOs are assessing the situation and analyzing the electricity marketing for June 10. During the solar eclipse, the system managements of the transmission system operators will be in constant communication and will take coordinated measures to balance the generation. However, unlike in 2015, special operating concepts are not necessary as the deviation will not be that great.