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Google Seals Solar Energy Partnership with E.ON in Germany

E.ON, Germany’s largest utility, and U.S. technology colossus Google are partnering in the solar market, according to a May 2 report by the European business daily Handelsblatt.

E.ON will introduce Google’s solar platform, Sunroof – which uses Google Earth imagery to analyze a buyer’s roof shape and local weather patterns and create a personalized solar plan –in Germany.

This represents the first time that Sunroof will be offered outside the United States. Initially 7 million households in Germany will be able to calculate the solar potential of their homes on E.ON’s website; then directly order products such as photovoltaic modules from the company. Google will receive licensing fees.

The introduction of Sunroof in Germany is part of E.ON’s broader efforts to feed green energy into the power grid. In 2016, the utility spun off its fossil fuel assets into a separate company, Uniper, so it could focus on developing renewables such as wind, solar and bioenergy.

Google dipped its toes in the energy market in January 2014, when it purchased Nest Labs, a home automation company that manufactures smart thermostats and smoke detectors, for $3 billion. A year later, the tech giant introduced Sunroof in the United States.

“If you partner with an effective Internet company, that certainly brings advantages,” Stender told Handelsblatt.

For E.ON, the local news outet said, the introduction of Sunroof in Germany is just the start. The utility aims to expand its partnership with Google to other European markets in the future.

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