Google’s Project Sunroof: March 2017 Update
Whilst not currently Australian related, we’ve been following Google’s “Project Sunroof” with great interest since it launched in 2015. They’ve recently updated the project with some very interesting statistics – including the fact that 79% of all 60 million buildings analysed are ‘technically viable for solar’ i.e. they have enough unshaded area for solar panels. Click here to see an example of the ‘customized savings estimate’ Project Sunroof can provide a residence (including a list of local solar installers, estimated savings and more).
Google Sunroof Estimator Tool
For those actually in the US, check out their estimator tool which has been updated for March 2017. It’s so advanced it even takes nearby trees and weather patterns into analysis while coming up with savings estimates. The savings estimator tool now covers 40x more US buildings than its 2015 launch.
Google also have a wealth of resources on their ‘environment.google‘ website – in 2017 Google’s global operations (this includes data centers and offices) will reach 100% renewable energy (and this is for a company that used 5.7 terawatt-hours (TWh – or for those more mathematically inclined 10^12 watts – i.e. a lot) of electricity in 2015) . They’re the world’s biggest corporate buyers of renewable energy. Click here to read a whitepaper Google published about achieving their target of 100% renewable and ‘going beyond’. With the cost of wind and solar reducing by 60 and 80 percent respectively over the last 6 years, there’s plenty of scope for other large companies to follow Google’s examples and set a target for 100% renewable energy.
For those of us in Australia, we can only hope this project will be rolled out down under eventually. As with Google Maps (launched in USA in 2005 and in Australia in 2008) we can sometimes be a few years behind Google’s technology – but it will be extremely useful when it’s launched down under! (And we assume solar panels and solar storage will be cheaper by then as well)