Oil Companies Using Solar - The Ultimate Irony

GlassPoint is Using Solar Power to Draw Oil From the Earth

The energy debate is often categorized as the fossil fuel companies versus the clean energy companies. While there was certainly a major battle early on, the line has become much less clear these days. This is particularly true when you consider the fact that many oil companies now incorporate solar energy as part of the energy production for their facilities. Yes, it is the ultimate irony.

Oil is often hammered as being the ultimate evil these days. Well, it isn't. The room you are sitting in and the computer you are reading this on are all made possible by oil. In fact, our society never would have advanced to this level without it. Oil is not just in your car and gasoline. It is the base material of plastics and just about every critical material we use to make things. The problem, of course, is oil is a toxic pollutant. This is particularly true when burned, but it can cause messes in its natural form as we see in the BP gulf mess. This means a move to cleaner fuel sources just makes sense.

The idea that oil companies are battling green companies is true on one hand, but the conflict is coming to an end. How do we know? Well, we have to look at an old cliche' - if you can't beat them, join them. This is exactly what we see happening. BP may be causing environmental disasters in the gulf with its oil operation, but it also is one of the first major oil companies to launch a solar energy company known as BP Solar. It is not the only company doing this.

Chevron is pretty much the prototypical major oil company that comes to mind when discussing such companies. It hardly has a stellar environmental record as the litigation regarding the huge toxic waste mess in Ecuador shows. Still, even Chevron is coming around to the renewable energy idea. It has announced it is launching no less than seven different solar energy projects to research technology and get into the field. The irony of this is they are building some of the projects at old refineries and using the electricity produced to fuel the oil production complex they have for the Chevron Kern River oil fields. Yes, solar panels will power oil production.

Solar Power Technology Is Being Developed For Enhanced Oil Recovery
The relationship between oil and green energy is one that is blurring all the time. Generally, this should be viewed as a positive development as it moves renewable energy from the "alternative" energy classification to part of the basic energy production pie we have in this country and world wide.
Thomas Ajava writes about passive solar versus active solar heating approaches for SolarCompanies.com and other solar energy topics.

By Thomas_Ajava
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1 comment:

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