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“The centerpiece of the technology is a 3D model of the world that does shadowcasting, which means that for every point of a roof we can determine whether there will be shade or not, for every time of the day, every day of the year,” Joel Conkling, Google’s principal of energy and sustainability, told CNN, from the COP22 climate change conference, in Marrakech.

“Our system can automatically identify buildings and then extract information about the roof, including how it’s angled, the direction it’s pointing, and whether there are trees in its vicinity,” said Conkling.

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