A screenshot of Project Sunroof shows the map data provided by the pilot project, which aims to help consumers plan solar installations for their homes.


Google plans to license new sets of map data to a group of companies for use in building products around renewable energy, and hopes to generate up to $100 million in its first year, CNBC has learned.

The company plans to sell access to new APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) with solar, energy and air quality information, according to materials seen by CNBC.

Among the new offerings will be a solar API, which could be used by solar installers like SunRun and Tesla Energy and solar design firms like Aurora Solar, according to a list of customer examples seen by CNBC. Google also sees opportunities for customers with real estate companies like Zillow and Redfin, hospitality companies like Marriott Bonvoy, and utilities like PG&E.

Some of the data from the Solar API will come from a consumer-focused pilot program called Project Sunroof, which is a solar energy savings calculator originally launched in 2015. The program allows users to enter their address and get estimated solar costs such as electricity bill savings and power installation size. solar system they will need. It also provides 3D models of nearby building roofs and trees based on Google Maps data.

Google plans to sell API access to individual building data, as well as aggregated data for all buildings in a given city or county, a document states. The company says it has data for more than 350 million buildings, according to the documents, up significantly from the 60 million buildings it cited for Project Sunroof in 2017.

An internal document estimates that the company’s solar APIs will generate between $90 and $100 million in revenue in the first year after launch. The docs indicate that there is also the ability to connect to Google Cloud products in the future.

As part of the planned launch, the company also plans to announce an Air Quality API that will allow customers to request air quality data, such as pollutants and health-based recommendations for specific locations. It will also include digital data heat maps and hourly air quality information, as well as an air quality history for up to 30 days.

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The latest revenue game comes as the company tries to monetize its map products as it faces pressure to produce revenue amid a broader economic slowdown. And while the company is focused on becoming more efficient, it’s also investing in newer technologies such as generative AI and sustainability – a market it hopes to tap into through the Solar API.

The company currently licenses its maps API for navigation to companies like Uber, which said in 2019 that it paid Google $58 million over its years. Maps API revenue goes to the company’s cloud segment, which finally became profitable in the first quarter but had a tough road trying to compete with market leaders like Amazon and Microsoft.

Google doesn’t say how much its Maps business makes, but it has historically been one of Google’s most under-monetised products, Morgan Stanley analyst Brian Novak told CNBC in 2021. At the time, Morgan Stanley estimated that Google Maps would profit. $11.1. billion by this year as new travel products and promotional pins start to drive advertising revenue.

The move also comes as the company is trying to streamline its mapping products. And in June, CNBC found that the company was laying off employees at the traffic-reporting app Waze, which it acquired in 2013 and merged with the Google Maps team.

    (tags for translation) Internet 

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