Researchers turn to AI for help in mapping every solar panel in the US

It turns out there are more solar panels than originally thought.

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Researchers wanted to find out how many solar panel installations are in the states. 

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There are about 1.47 million individual solar panel installations in the US.

That number comes courtesy of an artificial intelligence system developed by researchers at Stanford University. The system is outlined in a study released Wednesday that describes how the AI setup analyzed satellite photos to figure out how widespread solar panel usage is.

The report, called "DeepSolar: A Machine Learning Framework to Efficiently Construct a Solar Deployment Database in the United States" and published in the journal Joule, showed there are more solar panels out there than previously thought.

"We hope the data produced by DeepSolar can aid researchers, policymakers and the industry in gaining a better understanding of solar adoption and its impacts," the study says.

The group plans to update the database annually and add other countries and regions in the future, the study says.

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