Solar energy is one of the cheapest form of energy in the country. Kenyans in the rural areas are benefiting from M-KOPA initiative from Safaricom that enables them light up their houses. However, harnessing the right amount of energy has been the biggest challenge to many people. That’s why new service called Project Sunroof aims to provide a ‘jackpot’ of solar energy with the help of Google Maps. Sunroof gives families detailed information about how much solar power their roof can generate and how much money they could save on electricity costs by adding solar panels.
Data from Google Maps was previously not put to better use, but with the new innovation ‘Sunroof’ is able to utilize the data and get information. Sunroof uses Maps’ 3D-modeling to calculate the amount of space a building’s roof has for solar panels.
“Sunroof analyzes the positioning of the sun over the course of a year, as well as the type of cloud cover and temperature the neighborhood usually experiences. The service also considers the amount of shade cast by nearby objects.” Google said.
This is best way to save money because families use a lot of money to pay for electricity bills which can be invested in other things that can support the family. The ability of harnessing the right amount of energy from the sun can also be used by industries that require high voltage to run the machines. Sunroof can also inform users how many hours of usable sunlight they’ll get a year, as well as how much available space they have for solar panels on their roof. How amazing is that?
A good solar panel can cost you around Sh35,000 which is manageable for a small family given that it doesn’t require monthly payments or maintenance fee. M-KOPA is even more effective and cheaper. The system consists of a panel, two light bulbs, one portable light, a mobile phone charger and a radio. Thousands are being connected around the country which implies that families no longer depend on kerosene. Buyers pay Sh40 a day for a small home solar kit after making a Sh2,500 deposit through Safaricom’s M-Pesa and Sh50 a day for a bigger kit on paying a Sh2,999 deposit. With the help of Sunroof users will be able to get the right amount of energy from the sun.