Google has recently announced its plans to offer application programming interfaces (API) datasets for the solar industry. The new API software aims to provide valuable and interactive information to businesses, allowing them to better understand the potential of rooftop solar energy.
The Solar API consists of crucial data such as building details, rooftop characteristics, shading information, and panel configurations. This comprehensive dataset covers over 320 million buildings across 40 countries and aims to facilitate the transition to clean and renewable solar energy.
Google predicts that these API sales alone could generate up to $100 million in revenue within the first year.
According to Google, the Solar API offers numerous benefits for solar businesses. It can enhance the customer experience by providing property owners with accurate information. It also enables the creation of reliable project proposals without requiring an on-site visit. Lastly, the Solar API expedites the overall installation process.
Google’s reputation in the solar industry stems from its Project Sunroof, a free application that assists homeowners in estimating potential bill savings from rooftop solar installations. The Solar API is a result of collaborative efforts with industry leaders to develop datasets that cater to their business requirements.
Notably, the Solar API includes access to 3D building data for individual structures as well as aggregated data for entire cities or counties. This comprehensive information allows users to gain insights into a building’s location, size, slope, and solar potential.
Additionally, the API provides granular details on raw solar data in the area surrounding a building. These details include shading, obstructions, and roof layout. This information is valuable in designing efficient and customized solar systems.
Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings (TEPCO), a pilot project user and Solar API customer, used the API to create Suncle, an online rooftop solar energy simulation.
Homeowners can use Suncle to easily locate their residence on a map and customize their electricity bill and solar installation size. Within just a few seconds, they can access information about installation costs, local subsidies, cost savings, break even point, and the impact of their solar installation in terms of CO2 reduction.
Without Suncle, homeowners would have to rely on installers visiting their house to obtain these figures, according to pv magazine.
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