Google begins promoting map knowledge to firms growing photo voltaic merchandise, hopes to make $100 million in first yr

A screenshot from Venture Sunroof exhibits the pilot’s map knowledge, designed to assist customers plan photo voltaic for his or her properties.


Google plans to license new map datasets to quite a few firms to make use of in growing merchandise associated to renewable power, and hopes to generate as much as $100 million within the first yr, CNBC has discovered.

In accordance with supplies seen by CNBC, the corporate plans to promote entry to new APIs (software programming interfaces) with photo voltaic and power info, in addition to air high quality.

The brand new choices will embrace a photo voltaic API that might be utilized by photo voltaic installers like SunRun and Tesla Vitality, and photo voltaic design firms like Aurora Photo voltaic, in accordance with a listing of pattern prospects seen by CNBC. Google additionally sees buyer alternatives in actual property firms like Zillow, Redfin, hospitality firms like Marriott Bonvoy, and utilities like PG&E.

Among the Photo voltaic API knowledge will come from a consumer-focused pilot known as Venture Sunroof, a photo voltaic financial savings calculator initially launched in 2015. This system permits customers to enter their tackle and get estimated photo voltaic prices resembling financial savings on electrical energy payments and so on. the scale of photo voltaic system they want. It additionally gives 3D modeling of close by constructing roofs and timber primarily based on Google Maps knowledge.

Google plans to promote API entry to particular person constructing knowledge in addition to aggregated knowledge for all buildings in a given metropolis or county, a doc stated. The corporate says it has knowledge for greater than 350 million buildings, the paperwork say. That’s a big improve from the 60 million buildings it reported for the Sunroof venture in 2017.

In accordance with an inner doc, the corporate’s photo voltaic APIs will generate between $90 million and $100 million in income within the first yr after launch. There may be additionally the choice to hook up with Google Cloud merchandise later, docs say.

As a part of the deliberate launch, the corporate additionally plans to announce an air high quality API that may enable prospects to request air high quality knowledge resembling pollution and health-based suggestions for particular areas. It additionally contains digital warmth maps of the info and hourly air high quality info, in addition to air high quality historical past for as much as 30 days.

Google didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.

The current drop in income comes as the corporate tries to monetize its card merchandise because it faces strain to generate income amid a broader financial slowdown. Whereas the corporate is targeted on turning into extra environment friendly, it’s additionally investing in newer applied sciences like generative AI and sustainability — a promote it hopes to capitalize on with the Photo voltaic API.

The corporate at present licenses its Maps API for navigation to firms like Uber, which stated in 2019 it paid Google $58 million over these years. Income from the Maps API will circulate into the corporate’s cloud phase, which lastly turned worthwhile within the first quarter however has had a rocky street to competing with market leaders Amazon and Microsoft.

Google doesn’t disclose how a lot its playing cards enterprise makes, nevertheless it’s traditionally been considered one of Google’s least monetized merchandise, Morgan Stanley analyst Brian Nowak instructed CNBC in 2021. On the time, Morgan Stanley had estimated that Google Maps would earn $11.1. Advert income grew by $1 billion that yr as new journey merchandise and promoted pins started to drive advert income.

The transfer additionally comes as the corporate seeks to streamline its card merchandise. In June, CNBC discovered that the corporate was shedding staff at site visitors app Waze, which it acquired in 2013, and merging them with the Google Maps group.