Google on Wednesday announced the launch of its Project Sunroof initiative in Germany in collaboration with electric utility company E.ON and software developer Tetraeder. The event marks the first time for Project Sunroof to be launched outside of the United States where it originally debuted in 2015 in an effort to help consumers in deciding whether or not adopting solar power for their homes is a worthy and financially sound endeavor. The service launched in Germany today with the same goals, allowing people to determine the solar potential of their rooftops as well as purchase a suitable solar power system provided by E.ON.
Solar power is one of the cleanest energy sources humans have been able to tap into so far, but up until recently, the technology was too expensive for the general population to consider switching from conventional electricity sources. The good news is that solar costs have been dropping dramatically and the technology is far more accessible today than it has ever been. However, whether or not solar power is the right choice for a particular building is another matter altogether, and Google's Project Sunroof initiative aims to help each house owner determine the value of solar power for their particular residence. For the end users, Google's Project Sunroof is an online tool that helps in determining whether or not solar power is the right choice for their rooftops. Project Sunroof relies on a set of tools and data gathered from Google Earth, Google Maps, 3D models and machine learning, and accounts for historical weather patterns, the amount of sunlight falling on the roof, the Sun's location through the year, and even shading from nearby objects and the rooftop's geometry. All the data is combined to estimate each rooftop's potential for solar power, and Google claims that roughly seven million German buildings (around 40 percent of German homes) are currently covered by Project Sunroof in urban areas including Berlin, Munich, Rhine-Main, and Ruhr.
As of today, data gathered by Project Sunroof will be integrated into E.ON's official platform for solar energy. Using the online tool, German residents who are considering adopting solar power for their homes can get an estimate of their rooftop's potential for solar energy. Furthermore, prospective adopters can also purchase solar power systems consisting of energy storage and system management software, as well as photovoltaic modules manufactured by E.ON.