Google to begin selling maps data to companies building solar products, hopes to generate $100 million in first year

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A screenshot of Project Sunroof shows the representation information offered by the aviator project, which is meant to assistance consumers program star installations for their homes.


Google is readying to licence caller sets of mapping information to a scope of companies to usage arsenic they physique products astir renewable energy, and is hoping make up to $100 cardinal successful its archetypal year, CNBC has learned.

The institution plans to merchantability entree to caller APIs (application programming interfaces) with star and vigor accusation and aerial quality, according to materials viewed by CNBC.

Among the caller offerings volition beryllium a Solar API, which could beryllium utilized by star installers similar SunRun and Tesla Energy and star plan companies similar Aurora Solar, according to a database of illustration customers viewed by CNBC. Google besides sees lawsuit opportunities with existent property companies similar Zillow, Redfin, hospitality companies similar Marriott Bonvoy, and utilities similar PG&E.

Some of the information from the Solar API volition travel from a consumer-focused aviator called Project Sunroof, a star savings calculator that primitively launched successful 2015. The programme allows users to participate their code and to person estimated star costs specified arsenic electrical measure savings and the size of the star installation they'll need. It besides offers 3D modeling of the roofs of buildings and adjacent trees based connected Google Maps data. 

Google plans to merchantability API entree to idiosyncratic gathering data, arsenic good arsenic aggregated information for each buildings successful a peculiar metropolis oregon county, 1 papers states. The institution says it has information for implicit 350 cardinal buildings, according to documents, up importantly from the 60 cardinal buildings it cited for Project Sunroof successful 2017.

One interior papers estimates the company's star APIs volition make gross betwixt $90 and $100 cardinal successful the archetypal twelvemonth aft launch. There's besides a imaginable to link with Google Cloud products down the line, documents state.

As portion of the planned launch, the institution is besides readying to denote an Air Quality API that volition fto customers petition aerial prime data, specified arsenic pollutants and health-based recommendations for circumstantial locations. It'll besides see integer vigor maps of the information and hourly aerial prime information, arsenic good arsenic aerial prime past of up to 30 days.

Google did not instantly respond to a petition for comment.

The latest gross play comes arsenic the institution has been trying to monetize its maps products arsenic it faces unit to nutrient gross amid a broader economic slowdown. While the institution is focusing connected becoming much efficient, it's besides been investing successful newer technologies similar generative AI and sustainability — a marketplace it hopes to instrumentality vantage of with the Solar API.

The institution presently licenses its mapping API for navigation to companies similar Uber, which said successful 2019 it paid Google $58 million implicit determination years. Maps API gross goes toward the company's unreality segment, which yet turned profitable successful the archetypal 4th but has had a rocky path toward trying to vie with marketplace leaders Amazon and Microsoft.

Google doesn't interruption retired however overmuch its Maps concern makes, but it has historically been 1 of Google's astir under-monetized products, Morgan Stanley expert Brian Nowak told CNBC successful 2021. At the time, Morgan Stanley had estimated Google Maps would gain $11.1 cardinal by this twelvemonth arsenic caller question products and promoted pins began to summation advertisement revenue.

The determination besides comes arsenic the institution attempts to streamline its mapping products. In June, CNBC recovered the institution was laying disconnected employees astatine traffic-reporting app Waze, which it acquired successful 2013, and combining it with the Google Maps team.

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