Google and Total join forces in solar energy (Solar Mapper)

  •   15/10/2020 - 08h59
  •   DEHOUI Lionel

Total, France's leading oil and gas company, has partnered with Google Cloud to develop " Solar Mapper ". It is a new digital device that is intended to use satellite imagery and artificial intelligence. Its role is to provide an estimate of the intensity of solar energy in homes.

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Google and Total join forces in solar energy (Solar Mapper)
Image copyright: Remi Avignon - Flickr

An innovative technology

On Tuesday, the two companies announced that they have jointly exploited their relevant experience and expertise to ensure the development of the device. This is a tool that uses newartificial intelligence algorithms, with the aim of providing better results than the tools usually used.

According to both groups, Solar Mapper improves the quality of data from satellite imagery and provides thebest possible forecasts.

In addition, the device improves the global geographic coverage of solar mapping technology, while also improving the relevance of the technology to be installed.


Solar Mapper's mission

According to Marie-Noëlle Séméria, Total's Technical Director, Solar Mapper will enable Total to deploy solar panels on the roofs of buildings more quickly. The aim is to make solar energy more accessible and affordable for our customers. She also adds that by combining Total's experience in solar energy with Google Cloud's capabilities in artificial intelligence and databases, the two groups were able to jointly develop an innovative and attractive offer in just 6 months.

Currently, Solar Mapper already provides around 90% geographical coverage in France.


The implementation of similar technologies by the two groups

Total is currently considering the development of a technology similar to Solar Mapper. This will provide an assessment of the solar potential, mainly in industrial and commercial buildings and facilities.

Furthermore, no additional information has been given at this time regarding the project. In addition, Google Cloud has not yet proceeded to add its own ad to the mix. As a result, no one knows yet what the link between Solar Mapper and the Sunroof project of Google.

In fact, the Sunroof project is a tool that uses Google Earth images to analyze the shape of roofs, as well as local weather conditions. This, in order to create a personalized evaluation of the solar potential of the dwellings.


Learn more about the Sunroof project

Sunroof was launched in 2015 as a 20% Google project. Initially, it was limited to the San Francisco Bay Area in Fresno (central California) and the Boston area, before expanding throughout the United States.

During 2017, Google has entered into a partnership with the German public service E.ON as part of the project. The aim of this partnership is to provide the German population with an assessment of their rooftop solar potential.

However, Sunroof is a 20% Google project. It has never been a priority for the digital giant. This is the reason for the partnership with E.ON, which is the only way to extend it abroad.