Google's Project Sunroof launched in beta format about 2 years ago with the core mission of allowing the public to see how viable solar energy might be for them. It has grown from a few test states to all of the US, covering 60million+ buildings. Using its mapping / earth technologies it recently estimated that 79% of buildings in the US are suitable for solar energy. In addition to this, it allows individual users to figure out what their overall savings would be if they adopted it. Personal household bills and finance options are combined to provide a best estimate.
This detailed information is not just helpful for the public, it gives solar providers very valuable data in relation to targeting and marketing. During the tool's final evaluation stage, it connects users to the solar suppliers that service their area.
With so much potential comes the question, what is holding back growth? Regulation and incentivisation are key. Both Nevada and Hawaii's surging solar adoption rates suffered when utility rate changes adversely affected solar customers.
Clearly political will is equal to if not more important than financial viability when it comes to the march of green energy. The transparency and accessibility of this initiative will inform the public en masse, and the public's will is the most powerful influencer on political agenda.
Google Project Sunroof