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Google’s Project Sunroof reaches millions in Germany

Launched in the United States back in 2015, Google’s Project Sunroof is now available in Germany. People can find the answer to the question: “Does solar power make sense on my roof?” and see how much sunlight falls on the roof.

Around 7 million German buildings are currently covered by Project Sunroof, including urban areas such as Munich, Berlin, Rhine-Main and the Ruhr area.

“It’s as easy as entering your address,” says Joel Conkling, Product Manager Project Sunroof.


According to Conkling, to estimate the solar potential for individual buildings, the project combines Google Earth, Google Maps, 3D models and machine learning to estimate solar generation potential accurately and at large scale.

Project Sunroof estimates how much sunlight falls on the roof, accounting for historical weather patterns, the location of the sun throughout the year, the geometry of the roof, and shading from nearby objects such as trees and buildings.

“We then combine all of these factors to estimate solar energy generation potential for a particular address,” Conkling explained.

Project Sunroof data is integrated starting Wednesday. On the site, people can investigate their home’s solar potential, as well as purchase a suitable system consisting of photovoltaic modules, energy storage and system management software provided by E.ON. As of this month, the online tool covers about 40 percent of German homes.

Germany is the first country outside the U.S. where Project Sunroof data is made available.

John Beckett