06 Sep 2023

Google hopes for US$100 million revenue a year from new APIs for solar, air and pollen data

06 Sep 2023  by solarpowerportal   
Google's new APIs will provide data on solar, air quality and pollen. Image: Google

Google has announced the launch of new APIs for environmental data on solar, air and pollen through tools like Google Earth, Earth Engine and Environmental Insights Explorer.

The tools combine Google’s mapping software with advanced AI to show how the planet is changing. Google is adding Solar, Air Quality and Pollen APIs to Google Maps to help developers build sustainably, share actionable insights and encourage people to adapt to the climate.

Google launched Project Sunroof in 2015 to encourage the use of solar technology and help people explore the estimated solar potential and savings in their area. Google is now offering this information to businesses, and their new Solar API uses mapping and computing resources to make detailed rooftop solar potential data available for more than 320 million buildings in 40 countries.

Google used an AI model to get 3D information about roof geometry from aerial imagery, along with data about shading, and combined it with information about historical weather patterns and energy costs. This can help developers see how much sunlight buildings receive and calculate potential energy savings.

Google has also built an API that shows reliable air quality data, pollution heatmaps and pollutant details for more than 100 countries around the world, and a Pollen API which shows current pollen information in over 65 countries.

Google hopes the new APIs will be used by companies to build apps based on the data. “For example, a travel planning app can use this pollen information to improve planning for daily commutes or vacations,” Google said in a statement.

Solar installation companies can use the Solar API to design rooftop installations, and reduce costs by reducing on site visits.

US news channel CNBC reported that Google hopes to make around US$100 million a year by selling its new tools to companies that design and install solar PV such as Aurora Solar, according to documents seen by CNBC.


“Google also sees customer opportunities with real estate companies like Zillow, Redfin, hospitality companies like Marriott Bonvoy, and utilities like PG&E,” CNBC reported, saying that the internal documents said the APIs would be able to connect with Google Cloud products in future.


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