Put on your coal-fired vegan anti-irony helmets, because Oman is building a solar-powered oil field. Not because it will make them feel good or help them tamp down their emissions (I mean, this is oil they're digging up) but because it makes economic sense.
Basically, Glasspoint Energy is using the solar panels to make steam, which can help extract “heavy” oil from old fields. It’s like using a knife to get the last bits of ketchup out of the bottle … if the knife were made out of anti-ketchup.
Glasspoint Energy's solar installations are super cheap, even flimsy. Sourced locally, they're basically big shiny solar ovens stuck inside conventional greenhouses. Since they’re replacing a more expensive steam-producing process, which requires natural gas, they could pay for themselves in as little as a year.
Wouldn't it be funny, in a lolsobby way, if some day this became one of the biggest applications for solar in the world? If they work out in Oman, which desperately wants to keep its natural gas for other purposes, it could be huge: imagine entire oil fields covered with these things, silently mocking solar advocates everywhere.