GIS News

Shedding light on solar potential in all 50 U.S. States

Mar 14 2017 [Archived Version] □ Published at Maps under tags  environment google earth maps

Solar power is an abundant, low carbon source of electricity, but historically it has been more expensive than traditional electricity. With solar costs dropping dramatically, many people are starting to ask: does solar power make sense on my rooftop? In my town or state?  Since its initial launch in 2015, Project Sunroof has used imagery from Google Maps and Google Earth, 3D modeling and machine learning to help answer those questions accurately and at scale. For every building included in the data, Project Sunroof calculates the amount of sunlight received by each portion of the roof over the course of a year, taking into account weather patterns, position of the sun in the sky at different times of year, and shade from nearby obstructions like trees and tall buildings. Finally, the estimated sunlight is translated into energy production using industry standard models for solar installation performance.

sunroof image 1
Project Sunroof county-level coverage from 2015 - 2017

Today, Project Sunroof is helping answer those questions for more places than ever, with an expansion that brings Project Sunroof’s data coverage to every state in the U.S, with a total of approximately 60 million buildings analyzed. The expanded data reveals some fascinating insights about the solar energy opportunity nationwide:


  • Seventy-nine percent of all rooftops analyzed are technically viable for solar, meaning those rooftops have enough unshaded area for solar panels.

  • Over 90 percent of homes in Hawaii, Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico are technically viable, while states like Pennsylvania, Maine and Minnesota reach just above 60 percent viability.

  • Houston, TX has the most solar potential of any U.S. city in the Project Sunroof data, with an estimated 18,940 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of rooftop solar generation potential per year. Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Antonio, and New York follow Houston for the top 5 solar potential cities -- see the full top 10 list in the chart below.
Sunroof image 2

To put the rooftop solar potential into perspective, the average U.S. home consumes 10,812 kilowatt-hours (kWh) a year according to EIA. There are one million kWh in one gigawatt-hour (GWh). One GWh of energy is enough to supply power to 90 homes for an entire year.

If the top ten cities above reached their full rooftop solar potential, they'd produce enough energy to power 8 million homes across the US.
Sunroof image 3
Sample of Project Sunroof solar energy potential map

This also means that if you've been thinking about going solar, there's a much better chance there's Project Sunroof data for your area. The Project Sunroof data explorer tool allows anyone to explore rooftop solar potential across U.S. zip codes, cities, counties and states. If you’re looking to learn about the solar and financial savings potential for your homes, the Project Sunroof savings estimator tool now covers 40x more buildings in the U.S. than when we launched it in 2015.

Sunroof Image 4
Visualization of solar potential at the Googleplex in Mountain View, CA.

Almost 10 years ago, Google became an early adopter of rooftop solar, installing a 1.6 megawatt (MW) solar array at our headquarters in Mountain View, CA—the largest corporate solar installation of its kind at the time. Today, Project Sunroof combines Google’s longstanding interest in sustainability and renewable energy with unique, high-quality information about the potential of rooftop solar power. We’re proud to be expanding coverage of this project to help more people decide if solar makes sense for you.  


Shedding light on solar potential in all 50 U.S. States

Mar 14 2017 [Archived Version] □ Published at Maps under tags  environment google earth maps

Solar power is an abundant, low carbon source of electricity, but historically it has been more expensive than traditional electricity. With solar costs dropping dramatically, many people are starting to ask: does solar power make sense on my rooftop? In my town or state?  Since its initial launch in 2015, Project Sunroof has used imagery from Google Maps and Google Earth, 3D modeling and machine learning to help answer those questions accurately and at scale. For every building included in the data, Project Sunroof calculates the amount of sunlight received by each portion of the roof over the course of a year, taking into account weather patterns, position of the sun in the sky at different times of year, and shade from nearby obstructions like trees and tall buildings. Finally, the estimated sunlight is translated into energy production using industry standard models for solar installation performance.

sunroof image 1
Project Sunroof county-level coverage from 2015 - 2017

Today, Project Sunroof is helping answer those questions for more places than ever, with an expansion that brings Project Sunroof’s data coverage to every state in the U.S, with a total of approximately 60 million buildings analyzed. The expanded data reveals some fascinating insights about the solar energy opportunity nationwide:


  • Seventy-nine percent of all rooftops analyzed are technically viable for solar, meaning those rooftops have enough unshaded area for solar panels.

  • Over 90 percent of homes in Hawaii, Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico are technically viable, while states like Pennsylvania, Maine and Minnesota reach just above 60 percent viability.

  • Houston, TX has the most solar potential of any U.S. city in the Project Sunroof data, with an estimated 18,940 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of rooftop solar generation potential per year. Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Antonio, and New York follow Houston for the top 5 solar potential cities -- see the full top 10 list in the chart below.
Sunroof image 2

To put the rooftop solar potential into perspective, the average U.S. home consumes 10,812 kilowatt-hours (kWh) a year according to EIA. There are one million kWh in one gigawatt-hour (GWh). One GWh of energy is enough to supply power to 90 homes for an entire year.

If the top ten cities above reached their full rooftop solar potential, they'd produce enough energy to power 8 million homes across the US.
Sunroof image 3
Sample of Project Sunroof solar energy potential map

This also means that if you've been thinking about going solar, there's a much better chance there's Project Sunroof data for your area. The Project Sunroof data explorer tool allows anyone to explore rooftop solar potential across U.S. zip codes, cities, counties and states. If you’re looking to learn about the solar and financial savings potential for your homes, the Project Sunroof savings estimator tool now covers 40x more buildings in the U.S. than when we launched it in 2015.

Sunroof Image 4
Visualization of solar potential at the Googleplex in Mountain View, CA.

Almost 10 years ago, Google became an early adopter of rooftop solar, installing a 1.6 megawatt (MW) solar array at our headquarters in Mountain View, CA—the largest corporate solar installation of its kind at the time. Today, Project Sunroof combines Google’s longstanding interest in sustainability and renewable energy with unique, high-quality information about the potential of rooftop solar power. We’re proud to be expanding coverage of this project to help more people decide if solar makes sense for you.  


Shedding light on solar potential in all 50 U.S. States

Mar 14 2017 [Archived Version] □ Published at Maps under tags  environment google earth maps

Solar power is an abundant, low carbon source of electricity, but historically it has been more expensive than traditional electricity. With solar costs dropping dramatically, many people are starting to ask: does solar power make sense on my rooftop? In my town or state?  Since its initial launch in 2015, Project Sunroof has used imagery from Google Maps and Google Earth, 3D modeling and machine learning to help answer those questions accurately and at scale. For every building included in the data, Project Sunroof calculates the amount of sunlight received by each portion of the roof over the course of a year, taking into account weather patterns, position of the sun in the sky at different times of year, and shade from nearby obstructions like trees and tall buildings. Finally, the estimated sunlight is translated into energy production using industry standard models for solar installation performance.

sunroof image 1
Project Sunroof county-level coverage from 2015 - 2017

Today, Project Sunroof is helping answer those questions for more places than ever, with an expansion that brings Project Sunroof’s data coverage to every state in the U.S, with a total of approximately 60 million buildings analyzed. The expanded data reveals some fascinating insights about the solar energy opportunity nationwide:


  • Seventy-nine percent of all rooftops analyzed are technically viable for solar, meaning those rooftops have enough unshaded area for solar panels.

  • Over 90 percent of homes in Hawaii, Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico are technically viable, while states like Pennsylvania, Maine and Minnesota reach just above 60 percent viability.

  • Houston, TX has the most solar potential of any U.S. city in the Project Sunroof data, with an estimated 18,940 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of rooftop solar generation potential per year. Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Antonio, and New York follow Houston for the top 5 solar potential cities -- see the full top 10 list in the chart below.
Sunroof image 2

To put the rooftop solar potential into perspective, the average U.S. home consumes 10,812 kilowatt-hours (kWh) a year according to EIA. There are one million kWh in one gigawatt-hour (GWh). One GWh of energy is enough to supply power to 90 homes for an entire year.

If the top ten cities above reached their full rooftop solar potential, they'd produce enough energy to power 8 million homes across the US.
Sunroof image 3
Sample of Project Sunroof solar energy potential map

This also means that if you've been thinking about going solar, there's a much better chance there's Project Sunroof data for your area. The Project Sunroof data explorer tool allows anyone to explore rooftop solar potential across U.S. zip codes, cities, counties and states. If you’re looking to learn about the solar and financial savings potential for your homes, the Project Sunroof savings estimator tool now covers 40x more buildings in the U.S. than when we launched it in 2015.

Sunroof Image 4
Visualization of solar potential at the Googleplex in Mountain View, CA.

Almost 10 years ago, Google became an early adopter of rooftop solar, installing a 1.6 megawatt (MW) solar array at our headquarters in Mountain View, CA—the largest corporate solar installation of its kind at the time. Today, Project Sunroof combines Google’s longstanding interest in sustainability and renewable energy with unique, high-quality information about the potential of rooftop solar power. We’re proud to be expanding coverage of this project to help more people decide if solar makes sense for you.  


Intel acquires driveless tech company Mobileye for $15.3b

Mar 13 2017 [Archived Version] □ Published at Geoawesomeness under tags  geo business intel mobileeye self-driving cars

Intel confirmed that it is acquiring Mobileye for $15.3 billion. Mobileye is one of the leading companies using computer vision for traffic safety and autonomous driving tech. It offers a range of technology and services including sensor fusion, mapping, front- and rear-facing cameras among other. We can read in the statement: The acquisition will couple the best-in-class technologies from both companies, […]

The post Intel acquires driveless tech company Mobileye for $15.3b appeared first on Geoawesomeness.


How close are schools and hospitals to drilling activity in West Virginia and Ohio?

Mar 13 2017 [Archived Version] □ Published at Articles – FracTracker Alliance under tags  analysis articles class ii data and analysis disposal

A review of WV and OH drilling activity and its proximity to schools and medical facilities Schools and hospitals represent places where vulnerable populations may be put at risk if they are located close to oil and gas activity. Piggybacking on some elegant work from PennEnvironment (2013) and Physicians, Scientists, and Engineers (PSE) Healthy Energy (PDF) in Pennsylvania, below is an […]

The post How close are schools and hospitals to drilling activity in West Virginia and Ohio? appeared first on FracTracker Alliance.


Intel Buys Mobileye for $14 Billion

Mar 13 2017 [Archived Version] □ Published at In The Scan under tags  uncategorized

Intel will buy Israel’s Mobileye in a deal valued at just over $14 billion, the latest push by a major tech company to advance autonomous vehicles that could change the way traffic moves globally. Mobileye develops technology that essentially gives … Continue reading

The post Intel Buys Mobileye for $14 Billion appeared first on In The Scan.


Lidar Not Needed for Autonomous Vehicle

Mar 13 2017 [Archived Version] □ Published at In The Scan under tags  uncategorized

Aimotive is a Hungarian startup that claims they can support driverless vehicles using only four regular cameras and artificial intelligence. They have four major software engines – recognition, control, location and motion. “aiDrive enables truly global L5 self-driving functionality in … Continue reading

The post Lidar Not Needed for Autonomous Vehicle appeared first on In The Scan.


This Cool Infographics Shows The Growth Of Autonomous Cars Market

Mar 12 2017 [Archived Version] □ Published at Geoawesomeness under tags  autonomous cars infographic self-driving cars self driving car

The technology that power the autonomous cars of the future is progressing at an incredible speed. Most car manufacturers are predicting that 2020 will be the year where the first commercial autonomous car will be available in the market but I was surprised to learn that the first experiments conducted at automating cars date all […]

The post This Cool Infographics Shows The Growth Of Autonomous Cars Market appeared first on Geoawesomeness.


Yelp acquired Nowait to allow users skip lines

Mar 12 2017 [Archived Version] □ Published at Geoawesomeness under tags  geo business yelp

Last year, Yelp teamed with Nowait, investing $8 million as part of the partnership to integrate Nowait’s “get in line” functionality into it’s own app. The effect must have been really appreciated by users as last week Yelp announced that it acquired the start-up to complete the integration fully. The idea behind Nowait is quite […]

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Research Scientist Position

Mar 12 2017 [Archived Version] □ Published at In The Scan under tags  education research training

The NHERI RAPID Facility is hiring a Research Scientist to fill our Site Operations Specialist position. This position supports the newly awarded National Science Foundation (NSF) NHERI (Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure) Rapid Facility that is under development at the … Continue reading

The post Research Scientist Position appeared first on In The Scan.