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In this letter, we analyze a class of Opportunistic Power Allocation (OPA) and sensor selection schemes for parameter estimation in wireless sensor networks. In all cases, only sensors experiencing favorable conditions participate in the estimation process by adjusting their transmit power on the basis of local Channel State Information (CSI) and Residual Energy Information. We address a number of classical problems: the minimization of distortion and transmit power, or the enhancement of network lifetime. Furthermore, we derive an improved version which is robust to CSI imperfections. Interestingly, the performance of OPA schemes are close to the optimal approaches.