I laughed my a** off this one: a Fremond-based company, GlassPoint Solar, is actually helping the oil industry prosper by selling them solar panels for oil extraction purposes! Now this is the hottest news I’ve ever read since the dawn of The Green Optimistic.
Kern County hosts an old oil field that so far had using heated natural gas pumped inside the Earth’s crust at 750 degrees Fahrenheit to reduce the viscosity of the oil down there.
Now, the sun will heat water at that temperature, and then inject it for the same purpose. GlassPoint’s glass greenhouse was built in less than two months and occupies less than an acre. It uses reflective troughs made from a lightweight aluminum foil that concentrates solar power (just like those solar concentrators in Spain or Italy).
To reduce CO2 emissions (read: money consumption), the technology will eventually be used in the Middle East to extract oil.
Besides its economical advantages and the funny thought that solar power is helping oil magnates grow (from my point of view, at least), the method indeed helps the process by making it greener than if it used natural gas. Yes, I have to admit this is actually reducing the CO2 footprint of the entire extraction – use cycle of petroleum.
Bravos, GlassPoint! Now let’s heat up some water or generate some truly clean electricity and eliminate that coal they’re scraping the mountain tops for!