Bookmark and Share

Will Google’s Project Sunroof come to India?

1 Comment

Google’s New Solar Technology

Google has been one of the most innovative companies in the world, pouring billions of dollars into projects which seem farfetched such as self-driving cars, virtual reality glasses etc. The company has also been one of the pioneers in investing in renewable energy, investing billions of dollars in building solar and wind energy farms to become carbon neutral. Now the company is looking to do more than just invest money by using its technology leadership to accelerate the adoption of solar energy in USA. The company’s Project Sunroof makes it easier for homeowners to quickly decide whether putting a solar rooftop system is economical for them or not. Though the project is currently present in only select metro areas in USA, it is gradually expanding its footprint.

Note solar energy in USA is still very underpenetrated with only 1% of the total electricity coming from solar energy, even though USA is the 3rd largest market in the world for solar panels now. In comparison, Germany which has much less solar radiation gets almost 7% of its electricity requirements from solar energy. USA has a long way to go to even reach Australian standards, where almost 15% of the households have put solar rooftop systems. Google is helping the process by lowering the hurdle for installing a system. The biggest cost of rooftop solar systems apart from equipment is the cost of customer acquisition in USA, which is around 10%. This is due to the fact that you have to do marketing, and then do a site survey and financing. This can be reduced if the process is automated. Google by using software and GIS technology can tell you quickly whether solar makes economic sense, by noting down various parameters such as the cost of the electricity, the area available and the subsidies given by the state and the return over the 25 year life of the rooftop system.

I think it is a great initiative by Google which can transform the rooftop solar market. Something similar needs to be done by Google in India as well, where the rooftop solar market faces tremendous hurdles. This GIS technology can be a game changer not only for household solar adoption, but also for adoption by the commercial and the industrial segment. Instead of providing free Wifi in India, Google should provide this technology for Indian citizens. The lack of awareness about solar energy is a major problem in India. Google with its marketing reach can help close down this gap. It can also connect rooftop solar developers and installers with potential customers reducing their marketing costs and ultimately lowering the solar costs.


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

One Response so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Aditya Tripathi

    I can’t wait for Google to get their advance technology to India, not just Sunroof but their other projects as well.