Genius Idea to Recycle Oil Wells

Renewell, (a company located in Texas and California) has come up with a really cool way to repurpose oil wells.  There are more than 1 million oil wells in the U.S. – many already abandoned.  And a lot of those abandoned wells are leaking damaging greenhouse gases into the air.  Renewell proposes capping these wells and using them as gravity batteries for renewable energy.  I’ll explain.

In order to create electricity, you need to get a something spinning – think of water or air flowing to make some apparatus spin.  This spinning creates electricity.  Enter the oil wells.  These wells are comprised of steel shafts that are roughly 7 inches in diameter and often go down a mile or more into the ground.  Renewell’s technology takes a weight that is attached to a very long cable that is attached to an electric generation mechanism.  When power is needed, all you do is drop the weight down the well and cause the generator to spin.  When you do the math on this, roughly 300,000 wells could create enough electricity to power the U.S. for 2 weeks.  That’s a lot of electricity!  Now, to get the weights back up to the top of the well, you need electricity.  That electricity is simply created by the sun and wind.  So these oil wells are repurposed to act as batteries when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing.  And these batteries don’t involve chemicals.  Just gravity.  All clean and all renewable.  No pollution.  Genius!

You can see their web page here:

You can see a YouTube video here:




Categories: Weather Blog