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.
Reporting live from the floor of the CTIA Enterprise and Applications show in San Diego, California, the M2M Zone has seen new products and announcements from many key players in the industry. It’s fair to say that overall, the M2M industry is optimistic about the future of the market, as well as the new opportunities for growth opening up in the M2M space. “We are in the second inning of a 20 inning ballgame,” says Stratton Nicolaides, CEO of Numerex.
RACO Wireless (Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A.), a provider of machine-to-machine (M2M) connectivity, announced four partnerships at the CTIA Enterprise and Applications show in San Diego, California.
The first partnership announced by RACO Wireless was with Aeris Communications Inc. (San Jose, Calif., U.S.A.), a cellular carrier for M2M applications. Aeris offers CDMA coverage throughout North America, as well as GSM coverage through T-Mobile.
Live from the CTIA Enterprise and Applications show in San Diego, California, M2M Zone has seen many important announcements from M2M companies, including u-blox (Thalwil, Switzerland), a wireless chip and module company. On Monday, u-blox announced a CDMA module for the U.S. market, as well as partnership with Sprint (Overland Park, Kan., U.S.A.).
On Monday, a day before the CTIA Enterprise and Applications show was set to get underway in San Diego, California, the GSM Association, including top executives from AT&T (Dallas, Texas, U.S.A.), Telenor Connexion (Stockholm, Sweden) and Qualcomm (San Diego, Calif., U.S.A.) came together to speak about the major revenue opportunities that exist with mobile connected devices.
New and additional services for connectivity and data management are the highest priorities for vendors to the M2M industry according to experts at an industry gathering organized by module maker Telit Wireless Solutions and held on the eve of the CTIA Enterprise show in San Diego.
Smart grid infrastructure firm Echelon Corporation's (San Jose, Calif., U.S.A.) chief executive said he saw more opportunities in Europe and the rest of the world than at home, where there is little appetite to upgrade power networks.
"We have 20% more supply of electricity in the U.S. than there is demand, and no political will," says Ron Sege. "At least in Europe you have political will, the 2020 mandates, France reaffirming its commitment, and Germany moving slowly along."
Echelon made 70% of its revenue in Europe in the last quarter.
Last week, CARTES and IDentification (Paris, France), a conference focusing on digital security and smart technologies, released developments in the e-health and telehealth fields prior to its 2011 show in November. According to CARTES and IDentification, one of the major developments is the use of smart security technologies in improving medical patient care.
Last week, GE (Fairfield, Conn., U.S.A.) and Nissan (Yokohama, Japan) signed a two-year research collaboration to speed up the development of smart charging infrastructure to fuel mass market adoption of electric cars.
Both companies have identified two key focus areas for the research efforts. The first relates to the integration of electric vehicles with homes and buildings. The second looks at electric vehicle charging dynamics and the future impact on the grid once millions of electric cars are on the road.