Google's Project Sunroof arrives in UK
Google has launched an online tool in the UK that informs households how well a rooftop solar array would perform and how much money could be saved on electricity bills as a result.
The tech firm’s Project Sunroof was first launched in the US in 2015, before rolling out in Germany two years later. The tool analyses factors like roof orientation, shading from the nearby environment and local weather patterns to determine how much solar energy could be generated by a rooftop photovoltaic system.
Combining this data, sourced from Google Earth and 3D modelling, the tool then uses machine learning technology to assess the solar potential of an individual roof, as well as how much a household could save on a typical electricity bill as a result.
Google announced earlier this week that it has launched a UK version in partnership with energy supplier E.ON.
"Last year, we successfully launched Google's Project Sunroof in Germany and we're delighted to bring this exciting new technology to British homeowners too," E.ON’s chief executive Michael Lewis said. "At E.ON, we're aiming to create a better tomorrow by offering customers smarter, innovative solutions like Google's Project Sunroof and Solar and Storage, our solar PV and battery offering."
While Google will analyse the potential of solar arrays, households will still need the capital to install them. In September, a £1bn programme was launched by the UK Government to ensure that more than 800,000 low-income UK households will have access to cheap solar electricity in the next five years.
Last year, Google released its first block-by-block data set that maps air pollutions, to enable residents to make different travel route decisions and help improve air quality in the area.
Google Maps released air quality information for Oakland, California. Data was collected using street view cars equipped with sensors developed by environmental sensor producers Aclima. The sensors record levels of pollutants emitted from cars, such as nitrogen dioxide and black carbon, so that non-profits and residents can identify areas where air quality could be improved, either by choosing a different route to work, or using other means of transport.