The company wants to help expand the use of solar energy and to this end it makes available to citizens a tool to calculate the solar potential of their home roof as well as proper installation size thanks to Google Maps and other sophisticated tools of the company.
Thus, when a citizen wants to find out the solar potential of its home he only needs to enter his address and the “Sunroof” Project does the rest. It searches for the location on Google Maps and combines this information with other databases to create a custom analysis of the roof concerned. Today, it only works in 42 of the 50 States of the United States.
This tool is able to calculate how much sunlight hits on every roof over one year from the Google database of maps and aerial images and 3D modeling of the roof under study. With these data it analyzes the shadows cast by the nearby structures and trees with all possible positions of the sun over the course of a year and historical patterns of clouds and temperature that could impact the production of solar energy, according to the company´s explanation on the project website.
Electricity bill in hand
In addition, “Sunroof” also recommends which size should the power generation facility have so as to get as close as possible to 100% of the housing electricity consumption, taking into account the dimensions of the roof and the amount of sunlight it receives and the electricity bill. Knowing the size is an important thing, warns Google, to make a more accurate estimate of the costs and benefits of the installation.
“We recommend a facility that covers less than 100% of the electricity consumption, since, in many areas, the economic benefit of producing more power than can be consumed is small,” they claim.
2 GW of renewables
It is not the first time that Google takes an initiative related to solar energy. Last July, the company pledged to triple its purchase of renewable energy by 2025. It has also set the target of 100% of its operations be conducted with clean energy.
To this end, last December it announced the acquisition of a series of new wind and solar projects worldwide which added 842 MW of supply to the company worldwide reaching 2 gigawatts.
“In addition to purchasing renewable energy for our data centers, we have invested 2,500 million dollars in renewable energy projects on a large scale, from Germany to Kansas or Kenya. Our goal is to help promote the development of renewable energy both from our customer position as from our ability as investors, reducing costs for everyone, ” they claimed.