The European Bank for Reconstruction & Development (EBRD) is considering whether to lend Poland’s Energa around $250 million to fund the development of a smart grid.
A posting on the bank’s website indicates that the loan has already been approved by the EBRD’s board but has yet to be signed off.
The loan period is given as 15 years, with the EBRD expecting financing to be “partly syndicated”.
The global market for smart-grid technologies will generate $73 billion in annual revenue by the end of 2020, up from $33 billion in 2012, according to the latest data from Navigant Research.
The projection means the market generating cumulative revenue of $461 million between 2013 and 2020.
Navigant says there is still considerable potential for growth in countries with populations of more than 100 million, and especially in Africa, where there has been almost no activity in this area so far.
Australian hardware specialist Netcomm Wireless has won an M2M supply deal with Saudi Arabia’s Mobily that it claims will bolster vertical-sector opportunities in the Middle East by allowing M2M services to work over 3G networks.
Under the arrangement, Netcomm (Sydney, Australia) is to supply Mobily (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia) with outdoor industrial routers that can be used to support M2M services in areas that are poorly served by existing 3G networks.
The devices feature external 3G and WiFi antennas that boost signals in remote regions.
Software giant Oracle has championed the cause of the International M2M Council – of which it is a founder member – saying the newly formed trade group will demonstrate the business benefits of M2M services to a variety of vertical markets.
“The IMC intends to show vertical markets how M2M works and what’s in it for them,” says Chris Baker, Oracle’s senior vice president for Worldwide ISV, OEM and Java sales.
“M2M cuts across broad and diverse markets, and the key to evangelism success will be tapping the resources of IMC member companies.”
Energy company Alstom Grid is to work with chipmaker Intel on the development of technologies for smart grids and smart cities.
The two companies aim to focus on embedded intelligence and IT systems security in order to speed up the deployment of smart-grid infrastructure.
The deal is described as the fruit of three years of project collaboration.
AT&T has struck a deal to provide smart-grid services to Duck River Electric, the fourth largest electric cooperative in the state of Tennessee.
The deal will see AT&T (Dallas, TX, USA) provide a number of smart-grid services to Duck River, including advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), smart grid meter data management and other smart grid applications.
Claiming to serve about 71,000 members, Duck River says it came to AT&T to upgrade its smart grid infrastructure, reduce its operational costs and improve its customer service.
Freeing up airwaves for use by the US wireless industry could spur the take-up of new M2M services, with enormous benefits for consumers and businesses.
That was one of the key messages emerging from today’s keynote presentation at the CTIA Wireless Show in Las Vegas.
Speaking to a packed hall, Steve Largent, the president and chief executive of the CTIA, said his organization was pushing government authorities in Washington on the issue of spectrum availability, describing it as “pivotal” for the mobile industry’s future prospects.
The attitude of US consumers towards smart-grid and smart-meter technology improved over the course of 2012, according to a new survey from Navigant Research.
Utilities have struggled to communicate the benefits of these technologies to consumers, but doing so is critical if smart-grid programs are to succeed in the long term.
According to Navigant, however, last year there was a noticeable increase in favorable attitudes towards the concept of the smart grid in general and smart meters in particular.
Asia’s burgeoning smart-grid market is expected to generate $15.83 billion in revenue in 2018, up from just $5.4 billion in 2012, as demand response and energy management systems grow in popularity.
The forecast comes from Frost & Sullivan, which also believes that “Southeast Asia’s desire to switch to smart grids” will fuel smart-grid sales over the next six years.
The market-research company says Asia’s smart-grid market has already been given a huge boost from the rollouts of advanced metering infrastructure in Australasia and smart city projects in North Asia.
UK authorities have extended the deadline for installing smart meters in homes and businesses throughout the country, and delayed the start of the program by a year.
Utility companies were originally expected to have finished installing smart meters in the UK’s 30 million homes by the end of 2019, but will now have until the end of 2020 to complete the rollout.
Moreover, the £11.7 billion ($17.9 billion) program is now scheduled to start in the autumn of 2015 instead of the summer of next year.
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