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Environmentally… Confused? Meet the World’s First Solar-Powered Oil Field
August 7, 2011
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Solar power is usually associated with the environmental movement and helping to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels. But a company called Glasspoint is turning that thinking on its head. It's signed a deal to build four acres of solar-powered glasshouses at an oil field in Oman to help extract oil from the earth.

This soundless video shows the first structure built on the site:

The glass houses generate steam from the sun's rays which can then be used to extract "heavy" oil from the oil fields. Normally, natural gas-powered steam is used in the process, but Oman's supply of natural gas is limited, so this method makes better business sense.

But does it make environmental sense? As Grist.org points out, the irony is incredible: environmentally friendly technology is being used helping to produce more fossil fuels. And if the project is successful, it may help solar power become economically viable, which is just... strange.

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