Written by 8:41 pm Science & Technology Views: [tptn_views]

Google to start selling maps data to firms constructing solar products, hopes to generate $100 million in first 12 months

A screenshot of Project Sunroof shows the map data offered by the pilot project, which is supposed to assist consumers plan solar installations for his or her homes.


Google is planning to license recent sets of mapping data to a variety of firms to make use of as they construct products around renewable energy, and is hoping generate as much as $100 million in its first 12 months, CNBC has learned.

The company plans to sell access to recent APIs (application programming interfaces) with solar and energy information and air quality, in keeping with materials viewed by CNBC.

Among the brand new offerings will likely be a Solar API, which may very well be utilized by solar installers like SunRun and Tesla Energy and solar design firms like Aurora Solar, in keeping with an inventory of example customers viewed by CNBC. Google also sees customer opportunities with real estate firms like Zillow, Redfin, hospitality firms like Marriott Bonvoy, and utilities like PG&E.

Some of the information from the Solar API will come from a consumer-focused pilot called Project Sunroof, a solar savings calculator that originally launched in 2015. The program allows users to enter their address and to receive estimated solar costs similar to electric bill savings and the dimensions of the solar installation they’ll need. It also offers 3D modeling of the roofs of buildings and nearby trees based on Google Maps data. 

Google plans to sell API access to individual constructing data, in addition to aggregated data for all buildings in a selected city or county, one document states. The company says it has data for over 350 million buildings, in keeping with documents, up significantly from the 60 million buildings it cited for Project Sunroof in 2017.

One internal document estimates the corporate’s solar APIs will generate revenue between $90 and $100 million in the primary 12 months after launch. There’s also a possible to attach with Google Cloud products down the road, documents state.

As a part of the planned launch, the corporate can be planning to announce an Air Quality API that may let customers request air quality data, similar to pollutants and health-based recommendations for specific locations. It’ll also include digital heat maps of the information and hourly air quality information, in addition to air quality history of as much as 30 days.

Google didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment.

The latest revenue play comes as the corporate has been attempting to monetize its maps products because it faces pressure to supply revenue amid a broader economic slowdown. While the corporate is specializing in becoming more efficient, it is also been investing in newer technologies like generative AI and sustainability — a promote it hopes to benefit from with the Solar API.

The company currently licenses its mapping API for navigation to firms like Uber, which said in 2019 it paid Google $58 million over there years. Maps API revenue goes toward the corporate’s cloud segment, which finally turned profitable in the primary quarter but has had a rocky path toward attempting to compete with market leaders Amazon and Microsoft.

Google doesn’t break out how much its Maps business makes, nevertheless it has historically been one in every of Google’s most under-monetized products, Morgan Stanley analyst Brian Nowak told CNBC in 2021. At the time, Morgan Stanley had estimated Google Maps would earn $11.1 billion by this 12 months as recent travel products and promoted pins began to extend ad revenue.

The move also comes as the corporate attempts to streamline its mapping products. In June, CNBC found the corporate was shedding employees at traffic-reporting app Waze, which it acquired in 2013, and mixing it with the Google Maps team.

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