On Tuesday, Elster (Raleigh, N.C., U.S.A.), a manufacturer of advanced meter infrastructure, announced that its integrated universal meter and radio platform, the REXUniversal meter, is expected to be commercially available in North America in the second quarter of 2012. Elster's REXUniversal meter platform allows smart grid vendors' 900MHz radio frequency (RF) mesh communications to run natively on the identical REXUniversal meter hardware with integrated communications, economically delivering meter and network flexibility to utilities, according to Elster.
Raritan (Somerset, N.J., U.S.A.), a supplier of asset tracking technology, last week announced the availability of the intelligent Asset Management Tag and Sensor for improving data center asset management by providing accurate, real-time information on all IT assets and their locations.
Machine-to-machine (M2M) communications received a new lease of life after telecom service providers reorganized their traditional M2M solutions to enable a world of interconnected machines and objects, according to research firm Frost & Sullivan (Mountain View, Calif., U.S.A.). However, in a highly competitive market, M2M providers should look for new revenue streams for a sustainable market edge.
Last week, the Smart Grid Research Consortium, an independent research Consortium open to electric cooperatives, municipal and other public utilities, released a scorecard for utilities to evaluate their smart grid investment and planning process.
Solectria Renewables, LLC (Lawrence, Mass., U.S.A.), a PV inverter manufacturer, announced on Tuesday that it has been awarded a $2.1 million contract from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to develop integrated smart-grid ready photovoltaic (PV) inverters with utility communications in partnership with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), Detroit Edison, National Grid and Xcel Energy. The contract is part of the DOE's SunShot Initiative, which aims to accelerate the development of cost-competitive solar technologies, according to the company.
Information technology (IT) company NEC Corporation (Tokyo, Japan) announced on Monday the launch of a new service that uses M2M technology to connect a variety of sensors and terminals to a network. Beginning September 1, NEC will offer the "CONNEXIVE Cloud Based Infrastructure Service" to provide system infrastructure for M2M services through cloud platforms.
The Hertz Corporation (Park Ridge, N.J., U.S.A.), a car rental company, last week announced the expansion of its Global Electric Vehicle (EV) initiative to China, marking the first EV rental service to be offered in the country.
Hertz now offers EVs across the U.S. in cities including New York, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Los Angeles, and in London, United Kingdom and other cities in Europe.
Last week, technology and consulting firm IBM (Armonk, N.Y., U.S.A.) unveiled findings from its "2011 IBM Global Utility Consumer Survey" which revealed that many consumers around the globe did not know what a smart grid was, as well as did not understand the basic unit of electricity pricing and other energy concepts used by energy providers. IBM surveyed more than 10,000 people across 15 countries to explore the wants and needs of energy consumers worldwide.
According to a new report by market research and consulting firm Pike Research (Boulder, Colo., U.S.A.), by 2017 it is forecasted that more than 1.5 million Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations will be available in the United States, with a total of 7.7 million locations worldwide. The research firm anticipates that increasing demand for charge points will be driven in part by a rapid decline in electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) prices, which will require manufacturers to adapt their business models as volumes continue to increase.