Chinese officials have outlined plans to invest nearly $500 billion in electric power infrastructure - including roughly $90 billion in smart grid technologies - by 2020, a strategy experts say could significantly improve the nation's energy efficiency and cement a dominant position in the smart grid market.
Digi International (Minnetonka, Minn., U.S.A.), a wireless M2M device provider, announced that Siemens AG (Munich, Germany) is using its services to enhance its smart metering product with a web-based energy consumption and management platform. The Digi X-Grid is an “Extended Grid” that enables real-time, IP-based monitoring and control of home energy devices beyond the electric meter.
The total number of neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs) on the world’s roadways will grow from 479,000 in 2011 to 695,000 by 2017, a 45% increase, according to a recent report from Pike Research (Boulder, Co., U.S.A.). Annual NEV sales will rise from 37,000 vehicles to nearly 55,000 units by 2017, the cleantech market intelligence firm forecasts, and North America will account for 45% of worldwide sales.
Research and consulting firm Northeast Group, LLC (Washington, D.C.) last week released its Mexico Smart Grid Market Forecast, which projects the total smart grid market will reach a cumulative $8.3 billion by 2020. Mexico trails only Brazil in terms of potential for smart grid in the Latin America region. The smart metering market in Mexico represents the largest opportunity, with more than 21 million smart meters to be deployed by the end of the decade, according to the report.
On Friday, the Vehicle Infrastructure Integration Consortium (VIIC), a consortium of global automakers, announced they will join key government officials and other automakers from around the world to help accelerate the development of connected vehicles by harmonizing standards.
KORE Telematics (Alpharetta Ga., U.S.A.), a wireless services provider specializing in machine-to-machine (M2M) communications, last week announced the Quickstart Program for accelerating the development, testing and deployment of M2M applications.
Through partnerships with ClearConnex (Raleigh, N.C., U.S.A.), an embedded wireless engineering firm, and Richardson RFPD (LaFox, Ill., U.S.A.), a value-added global component distributor, KORE is now able to deliver critical components required by M2M application developers to develop and test a complete M2M solution.
NRG Energy (Princeton N.J., U.S.A.), one of the largest power operators in the U.S., formed a new company last month with the University of Delaware to test out how vehicle-to-grid (V2G) can keep a grid stable as the share of intermittent renewable energy sources rises. V2G allows electric cars to pump electricity back into the grid when power demand spikes.
Telit Wireless Solutions, the North American technology arm of Telit Communications PLC (Trieste, Italy), announced that its cellular M2M module will provide wireless connectivity for breath alcohol ignition interlock provider LifeSafer’s (Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A.) wireless breath alcohol device, which allows law enforcement authorities to monitor DUI offenders in real time.
Czech power group CEZ (Prague, Czech Republic) plans to have 23,500 smart energy meters installed in western Bulgaria by the end of 2012 to help modernize its power grid and boost its efficiency, the company said on Wednesday.
CEZ -- central and Eastern Europe's largest utility -- has already installed more than 18,000 smart meters costing some $46.5 million since 2009, it said in a statement. The number should hit 20,000 by the end of 2011.
IBM (Armonk, N.Y., U.S.A.) last week announced it has joined a collaborative consortium to help develop an energy grid that uses at least 50% of renewable energy sources, such as wind power, solar energy and biogas. Led by a European Union-funded consortium, the EcoGrid EU project will demonstrate a smart energy grid that will allow smart devices to use renewable electricity based on near real-time pricing and availability, according to the consortium.