Whether Google’s Project Sunroof will be a hit or a miss, only time will tell. Nevertheless, the technology is brilliant and this move from Google could make this firm a leading one in the global solar industry.

Key Challenges Google’s Project Sunroof May Face

Pradhnya Tajne | Transparency Market Research


Recently, Google announced the launch of its Project Sunroof, which uses Google Earth’s aerial mapping technology. A user can enter their home address into this tool that’s equipped with Google Maps. The tool then helps to create personalized analyses for rooftop PV installations. Although this latest tool from Google seems quite promising, there are many issues that may suppress the widespread adoption of this technology.


#1 - Limited Availability

As Project Sunroof is in its pilot phase, it is limited to certain areas. Currently, this tool is available only in Boston, California, Fresno, Massachusetts, and the San Francisco Bay Area. Nevertheless, Google has displayed interest in rolling this tool out to several other areas of the country soon. A user can go to Google’s site to know when this project will be available in their area.


#2 – Threat from Competitors

This new tool from Google calculates the amount of money saved by taking into consideration relevant federal and state tax credits, typical utility rates, utility rebates and other relevant renewable energy credits. However, this calculator from Google is not an entirely new concept. There are many other calculators that help a user estimate the performance of their potential rooftop PV installations. In addition to this, it is anticipated that several other companies on the market will launch a tool similar to that of the Project Sunroof. This can pose a substantial threat to this project.


#3 - Accuracy Issues

Google deploys its high-resolution imagery to analyze data about how much sunlight the roof gets, while taking into account factors such as orientation, shade from buildings and trees, and weather patterns. The technology so far seems sound. However, being in the pilot phase, there could be many accuracy-related issues that might crop up in the future. After all, consumers won’t be happy if the estimated performance of their rooftop PV installation does not match with the actual output. Nonetheless, Google is known for fine-tuning its technologies and its new tool will be no exception; refining this new tool might offer consumers more accurate results.


#4 - Google will choose the Contractor

After the Project Sunroof tool calculates the amount a consumer can save with their rooftop solar, it connects the consumer with an installer in the area. This is the final step in the process. Several known firms have already partnered with Google on this project. Solar companies will pay a hefty amount to firms that refer them and send business their way. However, doesn’t this arrangement sound too convenient?


#5 – A Brand Name can Only Take you so Far

Google is one of the biggest brands in the world. Its search engine is something that people use many times a day. Furthermore, Project Sunroof from Google could help unlock the dormant sectors in the global solar market. Although this project sounds brilliant, Google has a lot to prove in this sector, because, after all, a brand name can only take you so far.


Whether Google’s Project Sunroof will be a hit or a miss, only time will tell. Nevertheless, the technology is brilliant and this move from Google could make this firm a leading one in the global solar industry.


About Pradhnya Tajne
Pradhnya is a creative and self-driven writer with over six years of experience. Currently, she works as a Senior Content Writer, with a focus on the renewable energy domain, for Transparency Market Research based in U.S. Through her writing, she sheds light on clean alternative energy projects.

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