India to pilot new smart grid project in Kerala

Indian authorities have given the green light to a new pilot of smart grid technology in the state of Kerala, according to a report in the Times of India newspaper.

The pilot will target 2,500 so-called “industrial consumers” in Kerala and benefit from a total investment of 280 million rupees ($5 million), with 40% of the funding to come in the form of a government grant.

State authorities hope the introduction of smart grids will help address the frequent power failures and voltage problems that plague industries in Kerala.

Mitsui announces $15 million investment in Viridity

Japanese IT and engineering conglomerate Mitsui has announced plans to invest $15 million in Viridity Energy (Philadelphia, USA), an energy-demand specialist.

The investment is pending approval by the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, but it would give Mitsui an equity stake in Viridity, of an undisclosed amount, and a position on Viridity’s board.

Harman agrees to buy India's Interchain Solution

US-based Harman has entered into an agreement to buy Interchain Solution, an Indian company that specializes in telematics, fleet management, in-vehicle infotainment and location-based services.

The deal is subject to “customary closing conditions” but Harman expects it to close in late August.

Harman sees the acquisition as a way to expand its presence in the large Indian market and augment its own automotive infotainment and telematics offerings.

Massachusetts smart grid pilot gets DPU go-ahead

America’s Department of Public Utilities (DPU) has approved a pilot project by National Grid to install smart meters at the premises of 15,000 customers in Worcester, Massachusetts.

The customer sample represents about 1.2% of National Grid’s electricity customers and will allow the utility to see how a smart grid could help to reduce outages and improve operational efficiency over a two-year period.

Starbucks embraces mobile payments with start-up Square


Starbucks Corp's deal to use Square Inc to process payments at its U.S. coffee shops is a big win for a 2-year-old startup that is beginning to threaten established payment processors and shake up retailing.

Study: Just half of German utilities plan smart-grid investments

Barely half of German utility companies plan to make any investments in smart grids before 2014, according to a new study published this week.

Steria Mummert Consulting polled 100 decision makers in German utilities on their business plans over the next few years. Although 70% said they planned to invest in the maintenance and modernization of distribution networks, and 65% in energy data management, only half of respondents had network expansion plans for smart grids over the next two years.

Taiwan to establish smart grid task force

Taiwan’s Prime Minister Sean Chen has ordered the Ministry of Economic Affairs to form a special task force aimed at establishing a nationwide smart grid, according to a report in Taiwan Today.

Report: M2M cellular connections to hit 2.5 billion by 2020

The number of worldwide cellular M2M connections is forecast to soar from its current level of 277 million to a staggering 2.5 billion by 2020, according to a new report from Strategy Analytics.

A combination of factors, including global connectivity platforms, efforts at standardization, cloud computing and regulatory initiatives will help contribute to a compound annual growth rate of more than 30% between now and 2020, says the company.

Strategy Analytics reckons that most M2M activity will come in the areas of mHealth, smart metering, telematics and automation.

M2M success fuels earnings growth at Sierra Wireless

Sierra Wireless (Richmond, Canada) has reported impressive top-line gains and profits on the back of its growing M2M business and sales of 4G products.

The vendor—which makes modems, routers and gateways and develops software and services for wireless applications—reported a 19.7% year-on-year increase in revenues, to $167.4 million, for the second quarter of 2012.

Net earnings, meanwhile, came in at $3.58 million, compared with a loss of $6.77 million for the same period last year.

European fleet management systems to number 5.7 million by 2016

The number of fleet management systems deployed in commercial vehicle fleets in Europe is forecast to rise from 2.5 million at the end of 2011 to 5.7 million by 2016, according to a new report from analyst firm Berg Insight.

The increase equates to a compound annual growth rate of 17.9%.

Although the fleet management industry has been affected by the financial crisis in Europe, Berg expects the number of systems to increase by 10–20% this year, driven by a group of international aftermarket solution providers.

Syndicate content