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In a Rare Eclipse, Gas Will See Its Future as Solar's Backup

  • Gas turbines will ramp up as the eclipse darkens solar panels
  • Solar industry urges conservation to limit carbon emissions
Bloomberg business news

Solar Eclipse Casts Shadow on U.S. Energy Prices

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Natural gas is about to get a glimpse of its future role in the U.S. power mix as solar energy’s backup.

During the upcoming Aug. 21 eclipse, operators of giant solar fields from California to the Carolinas will cede market share to fast-start natural gas generators as well as hydroelectric plants and other sources to fill the gaps as the sky darkens. The celestial event, the first total solar eclipse visible in the lower 48 states since 1979, will provide owners of gas turbines a chance to shine even as the fossil-fuel is expected to be displaced over time by solar and wind energy.