Brazil's new smart-meter plan lops $5 billion off market opportunity: report

Changes to rules about the installation of smart meters in Brazil have dealt a huge revenue blow to foreign manufacturers that had been lured to the market, according to new research from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).

Aneel, Brazil’s electricity regulator, had originally proposed to mandate a rollout of smart meters across the country, which would have translated into a $10 billion opportunity for smart-meter companies like Elster (Essen, Germany) and Echelon (San Jose, USA), according to BNEF.

Smart-meter rollout in BC, Canada delayed by a year

A smart-meter program in the Canadian province of British Columbia has received a year-long extension, with the delay blamed on shortages of qualified labor, equipment and specialized meters, as well as customer concerns.

Having failed to hit a target of installing 1.87 million smart meters by December 31 2012, utility company BC Hydro (Vancouver, Canada) has been given until December 31 2013 to finish its rollout by regional authorities.

Spending on smart-building managed services to grow at 18% CAGR to 2020: report

Global spending on smart-building managed services (SBMS) is forecast to hit $1.1 billion in 2020, up from just $291 million in 2012, thanks to the growing demand for a “sophistication” that many operations and maintenance staff currently lack.

That is the finding of a new report from Pike Research that says SBMS will become a critical part of energy management initiatives in the next few years.

Costs must fall 50% for energy storage to flourish: report

The costs associated with energy storage need to fall by at least a half in the next five years if technologies are to realize mainstream adoption, according to a new report from the IEEE and Zpryme.

Based on a survey conducted last September of 460 smart-grid executives around the world, the research issues a stark warning to companies involved in the energy-storage market.

Global telehealth revenues to grow 55% in 2013

After growing at a relatively modest rate over the last couple of years, worldwide device and service revenues from telehealth are expected to rise 55% in 2013, boosted by the rising adoption of telehealth in post-acute care strategies, according to new research from InMedica, a part of IMS Research.

Due to poor economic conditions in Europe, and uncertainty about healthcare reforms in the US, telehealth device revenues grew by only 5% between 2010 and 2011 – with the number of telehealth patients enrolled worldwide rising 22.2% to 241,200 – and by 18% between 2011 and 2012.

Cyber-security smart-grid rules to be 'freer' in EU than US: ENISA

EU cyber security agency ENISA has urged authorities and stakeholders to co-ordinate their effort to improve smart-grid security, but recommended greater “freedom” than regulators have allowed in the US.

In a new report investigating the cyber-security challenges for smart grids in Europe, ENISA has proposed a number of security measures that could be “tailored and combined for the needs of different actors, given the varied market”.

As ENISA points out, that is in marked contrast to the “strict regulatory path” laid out in the US.

South Korea's LG to join Pecan Street smart-grid research

South Korean technology vendor LG Electronics is to participate in a smart-grid demonstration as part of the Pecan Street project taking place in Austin, Texas.

The company announced that it had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Pecan Street to contribute expertise in the areas of smart homes, energy management and consumer electronics until 2015, as part of Pecan Street’s Industry Advisory Council.

Its main focus is to be on the development of effective home energy management systems.

Zigbee Alliance launches Green Power feature

The Zigbee Alliance has launched a new feature designed to improve the energy efficiency of devices connected using Zigbee technology.

The so-called ‘Green Power’ feature allows switches and dimmers, among other devices, to be run via energy harvesting sources rather than battery or AC mains power, creating what the Zigbee Alliance (San Ramon, USA) calls a “no-maintenance, environmentally friendly solution”.

Atmel boosts M2M presence with Ozmo takeover

Touch-technology specialist Atmel Corporation has announced a takeover of WiFi developer Ozmo in a move aimed partly at boosting its presence in the M2M sector.

The specific terms of the acquisition were not revealed, but Atmel (San Jose, USA) expects to finalize the transaction by the end of the year and says it will be accretive to its earnings in 2014.

Telit signs smart-meter deal with Digicom

Telit has announced it will supply modules to Digicom, a network-technology specialist, in a deal designed to strengthen the M2M player’s presence in the burgeoning smart-metering industry.

The modules are to be integrated with Digicom’s (Cardano al Campo, Italy) TLOG system – a meter-reading device for the gas, LPG and water industries.

TLOG measures consumption pulses from meters and sends the data via SMS or GSM/GPRS, TCP/IP technology.

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