Transactions - MAY 8, 2017

Google enters German solar market

by Andrea Waitrovich

Germany’s largest utility E.ON has partnered with Google.

E.ON will introduce Google’s solar platform, Sunroof, in Germany. It will be the first time that Sunroof will be offered outside the United States.

Sunroof installs rooftop solar panels. The platform uses Google Earth to analyze the shape of the roof and local weather patterns to determine how much sunlight a home receives each year. It takes into account weather data, the position of the sun in different seasons, the area and slope of the roof, as well as shadows from surrounding buildings or trees.

E.ON, Google and software provider Tetraeder will expand the tool across Germany, making it available to more than 7 million buildings in cities and districts including Munich, Berlin, Rhine-Main and the Ruhr. Households in Germany will be able to calculate the solar potential of their homes on E.ON’s website, then directly order products such as photovoltaic modules from the company. Google will receive licensing fees.

In April 2017, E.ON announced the launch of its U.K.-residential PV and solar-plus-storage solutions and battery and energy management system installations to consumers. The price ranges between £5,000 and £7,500 ($6,472 and $9,707), with various guarantees over performance and savings on offer.

Currently, Google Sunroof platform is covering approximately 60 million buildings.

Southern states such as Arizona achieved peak values of more than 90 percent, but even northern states such as Maine achieved values of over 60 percent. The rooftops in a city such as Houston could generate roughly 19,000 gigawatt hours of electricity each year. That is equal to the power requirements of 1.7 million households.

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