The plan was for GlassPoint Solar, Inc. to manufacture gypsum wall board in its own factories, but it turned out to be more useful (from the climate's perspective) to help major wallboard manufacturers retrofit their factories using Glass Point's solar industrial process heat.
"In the time it takes to build one million square feet of new drywall production capacity we can convert one billion square feet of existing capacity to clean energy." said Rod MacGregor, CEO of GlassPoint Solar.
Looking at the energy differential, every thousand square feet of drywall produced requires approximately 2.5 million BTUs of natural gas to be burned emitting 293 pounds of CO2 in the process.
If you were to convert all 35 drywall plants in the U.S. Southwest with a total production capacity of 16 billion square feet per annum, converting them to solar power would reduce CO2 emissions by over 4.7 billion pounds per year. How many cars would that be (since we always seem to use that as a measuring stick)? That is the equivalent of removing half a million cars from the road.
In case you think only drywall manufacturers will reap all of the savings, the technology can also used in any industrial process that burns natural gas to produce heat, including enhanced oil recovery.