Google Expands ‘Project Sunroof’ Across US

In some exciting news for the renewable energy sector, Google have begun to roll out their innovative new tool across the United States of America – Project Sunroof.

The software, which was originally launched in August 2015 and only initially covered small sections of United States, provides analysis of your roof space’s suitability for solar photovoltatic (PV) panels – from how large a system would fit to the kind of savings you could achieve. The internet giant has recently increased its reach to encompass data within most of the fifty regions. Their final aim – to have analysis available for every single roof space in the country.

By providing a heat map analysis of the space, users can get a clear picture of how viable their installation may be – the lighter the colour, the more electricity you could generate. Sunroof even considers the average weather conditions of your area, to improve their figures.

Engineer Carl Elkin, the mind behind the programme, created the software as part of 20% time project, a motivation technique employed by Google for their engineers. Employees are encouraged and enabled to take 20% of their work time on projects that specifically interest them – and not just the business. On this occasion, it’s really paid off!

So, what does this mean for the renewable sector and its customers?

It’s great news – for the US and soon, hopefully for the UK. Of course, currently the benefits will only be felt overseas, but it’s easy to see how this could be beneficial if launched here.

When making your first tentative investigation into how solar could work for your home or business, the tool can certainly make your life easier. Once Sunroof has assessed the size of your roof, it will then calculate the likely savings and income from the system – providing information on loan and lease options and displaying a list of local solar installers, should you wish to proceed further.

It’s worthwhile noting that funding options for renewable projects will differ from installer to installer, and there’s the risk that, in fact, this part of the software could cause some confusion when a project gets to quotation stage. Ensuring home and business owners are fully informed about current financial and incentive packages is one of the most important steps to any renewable project.

This revolutionary innovation from Google is certainly something to be excited about.