Terence Newton, Staff Writer
More than ever the world needs renewable energy, and as solar power becomes more efficient and the cost of outfitting your home or business with solar panels declines, there is a real possibility that solar will become a viable alternative to fossil fuels.
Google’s Project Sunroof sheds light on this issue by combining data from Google Maps with information on how much sunlight falls on rooftops, providing an accurate estimate of how much power one can generate if their rooftop were to be outfitted with solar panels.
“In a new expansion of its Project Sunroof, the company has built 3-D models of rooftops in all 50 states, looked at the trees around people’s homes, considered the local weather, and figured out how much energy each house or building can generate if its owners plunk down for some panels.” [Source]
Surprisingly, a recent study with Project Sunroof revealed that up to 80% of household rooftops in America would be good locations for solar panels, meaning that the U.S. could easily generate a substantial amount of renewable energy if the proliferation of rooftop solar panels were to go mainstream.
“Top among the findings is that nearly 80 percent of all buildings the team modeled are “technically viable” for solar panels, meaning they catch enough rays each year to make generating electricity feasible. That sounds pretty good, and a post on Google’s blog goes on to highlight the rooftop-solar potential for several cities.” [Source]
The tool is quite interesting in that you can enter your street address and instantly find out how much rooftop square footage on your home would be optimal for solar, as well as find out how to access financing and local suppliers and installers. The findings of the survey of solar ready rooftops offers unique insight into the emerging solar industry.
“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.” [Source]
Commercial installations of solar power are on the rise, almost doubling in 2016, however, the greatest progress for solar in America could be residential. The costs of outfitting your home with solar panels continues to decline, and there are a number of agencies who readily provide financing for the switch to solar power, an investment which can quickly pay for itself as personal solar power can often replace a person’s independence on the electric grid.
Read more articles from Terence Newton.
About the Author
This article (Google’s New Tool Says 80% of Rooftops Are Sunny Enough to be Outfitted with Solar Panels) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Terence Newton and WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this copyright statement.