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Natural Disaster
Can US Solar Cope with an Eclipse?
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  • Andrew Allison

    Much ado about nothing. How much US solar production in the path of the eclipse? Any reduction will be localized and brief.

    • Fat_Man

      the path of totality runs through the middle of the US. The biggest solar plants are in the Southwest, and will have a 70% diminution of solar influx from the eclipse.

      • Andrew Allison

        If that, and it’s transitory — sort of like a cloud passing over the panels; and, as you irresistibly point out, nightfall, when ALL the panels stop working. Some of those posting on TAI appear to be remarkably lacking in critical thinking ability.

    • LarryD

      The Moon’s shadow has two regions, the penumbra and the umbra. The umbra is a cone based on the moon, it is the region of totality. The penumbra is a truncated cone, with the narrow tip on the moon. It defines a partial eclipse. Totality on lasts a few minutes, the partial eclipse will last much longer.

      But, this is no more than a cloudy day, except more predictable. And the Earth rotates so anyplace on its surface, between the arctic circle and the antarctic circle experience being in Earth’s shadow for hours, every day. Solar power bloody well ought to be prepared for the interruption.

  • Fat_Man

    This shouldn’t be a real problem. They had 130 year advanced warning. In 1887 Theodor von Oppolzer’s published his Canon der Finsternisse (Canon of Eclipses).

    Not only that, but they get to practice for it every day at sunset.

    Don’t worry about “scalable and cost-effective storage options”. There aren’t any, and there never will be.

    Greens do love them some “smart grid” though. It represents the promise of being able to turn out your lights and shut off your refrigerator, when their shiny toys don’t work. You didn’t really need that gallon of milk anyway.

    Of course if they do that, you will fire up your gas powered generator. Honda makes nice ones. Briggs and Stratton makes bigger ones. An electric grid held hostage to “renewables” will therefore cause CO2 emissions to go up.

    Clearly, the best thing we can do to prevent power outages is send the “environmentalists” to the Arctic so that the polar bears will have something to eat instead of seals.

    • Andrew Allison

      The post displays, once again, the apparent utter lack of critical thinking ability of the TAI staff. For crying out loud, even if the eclipse covered the entire United States it would, the post goes on to state, briefly reduce production by less than 1%.


    As the date of the August 21 eclipse draws near, keep this important safety information in mind: You MUST use special eclipse safety glasses to view a partial eclipse and the partial phases of a total eclipse. To do otherwise is risking permanent eye damage and even blindness. The ONLY time it’s safe to look at a TOTAL eclipse without proper eye protection is during the very brief period of totality when the Sun is 100 percent blocked by the Moon. If you’re in a location where the eclipse won’t be total, there is NEVER a time when it’s safe to look with unprotected eyes. NEVER attempt to view an eclipse with an optical device (camera, binoculars, telescope) that doesn’t have a specially designed solar filter that fits snugly on the front end (the Sun side) of the device. Additionally, never attempt to view an eclipse with an optical device while wearing eclipse glasses; the focused light will destroy the glasses and enter and damage your eyes.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    So they’re going to suffer on the Left Coast, that’s not a bug, it’s a feature. I enjoy watching them suffer the Blue State Blues, they have earned them.

  • Pait

    The answer is yes. As someone writes below, they get to practice for eclipses every night.

    Whoever is worried about eclipses is trying to create Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. The article does serve the purpose of confirming that TAI is not a useful source of information and debate about energy issues.

  • Boritz

    In the movie Astro Zombies a solar-powered zombie found himself far from his base at sunset. He solved the problem by holding a flashlight to the solar panel on his forehead and ran all the way home. Hope this sheds some light on the technical issues brought up here.

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