La Zubia is a Spanish municipality of the Province of Granada, Andalusia (Southeast of Spain), located in the region of “La Vega de Granada”. It has a privileged location and environment, as a gateway to Natural Park of “Sierra Nevada”, in the known region as “Campaña granadina” surrounded by fertile land. It borders with Cájar, Monachil, Dílar, Gójar, Ogijares and Granada municipalities. Its coordinates are 37°07’N, 03º35`O. It’s located at an altitude of 740 meters and about 6 km from the grenadine capital.
The municipality is composed of three administrative areas: La Zubia, Cumbres Verdes, El Barrichuelo.
The number of foreigners is low. In the year 2009 there were 712 registered, Argentina being the most common origin. As well the number of emigrants was similarly 780. The birth rate since 2005 has been positive, approximately 13%, and the mortality rate is low at the last 5 years below 5,5%. La Zubia is a town of about 17,000 inhabitants, belonging to the metropolitan area of Granada. Unlike other municipalities in this area, is not just a “dormitory town” in which residents only return from work in the city of Granada to sleep, but a good number of citizens live and work here, without having to go to other municipalities. Thus, it is responsibility of the municipal government to provide services and resources of enough quality and quantity to meet the needs of citizens.
The town has a great social and association movement, as well as a high degree of citizen participation, in social, cultural, political and environmental areas. In February 2008, the municipality signed the accession to Local Agenda 21 and in September 2009 it has started the preparation of the environmental assessment of the Municipality.
Environmental awareness is beginning to apply across the board in other areas, such as renewable energy use in municipal facilities (solar panels and biomass boilers). Another fundamental issue is the management of waste. In late 2010 the Municipal Recycling Centre completed the necessary facilities for the waste management, with an Environmental Education Classroom, workshops and classrooms equipped with multifunctional to develop courses, workshops, training and informative sessions.
Since the Environment Department of the City Council has signed a number of agreements such as door to door used oil collection among businesses in the town, as well as batteries, printer ink and toner. Trash containers have being buried, as well as the number of collection points have been increased, having already 51 green points distributed throughout the municipality. It is also integrated with a Geographic Information System with all information regarding waste collection and location of green dots, to be useful both for municipal management to the public that through this system will feature an interactive map on the website, from which you can view all collection containers points or find the one closest to your home, for example. The main sector of employment in the town lies mainly in the tertiary sector with nearly 72.33%. Far behind one can find the primary sector, dedicated to Agriculture activities with a 1.42%. Speaking about the secondary sector there is a 26.24% of the activities in the municipality. If we analyze the tertiary sector, it can be seen as “Section G: Repair Trade motor vehicles, motorcycles and personal and household goods”, is the bigger area of activity in the municipality with a total of 5.545 employees.
The power consumption of the municipality of La Zubia on the last period (2000-2009) experienced an increasing trend both in terms of absolute consumption (MWh), as in relative terms (MWh/capita*year) until 2008, and from 2009 experienced a notable decline due mainly to the economic crisis. Similarly and as pointed out earlier, in relation to the total consumption, population also experienced a gradual increase until 2008. In 2006 the municipality made a Municipal Energy Audit that concluded the following suggestions for improvement:
- Optimization of the electric contract in order to achieve economic improvements
- Installation of electronic ballasts in fluorescent luminaries: the proposed action in such items represents an investment of 81,440 € and savings of nearly 16,939 €/year
- Replacement of incandescent lamps for energy saving lamps: execution of this measure represents an investment of 1,770.2 € and savings of 2,359.86 €/year
- Replacement of inefficient Public Lighting lamps for efficient ones: the execution of this measure represents an investment of 2,143 € and savings of 645.80 € /year
- Installation of renewable facilities: A feasibility study of a heating system based on solar thermal energy has been developed for the “Municipal Hall 11M”. The installation budget amounts to 5,405.44 €. The use of solar energy through an installation of 8.72 m2 of surface uptake and 1,000 litters of accumulation, saves annual conventional energy used (in this case diesel) of 3.108,40 kWh which represent savings in energy requirements as well as 436,33 €/year, being the payback period about 10,2 years
- Yet, another feasibility study has been developed for the “Public School Isabella”. The installation budget amounts to 3,793.15 € and will generate 418.62 €/year of savings. The payback period would be about 7.8 years
Now the municipality is working on improving and applying the main working lines under its Sustainable Energy Action Plan, with which it aims to save 20.07% of its CO2 emissions by 2020.
As the economic crisis is affecting every program of the institution one of the main lines of work will be the next years in the field of Energy Service Companies, as the capacity of investment of the municipality is very small nowadays.
- BUILDING EQUIPMENT / FACILITIES AND INDUSTRY: Installation of detectors in five municipal buildings, replacement of five air conditioners in public buildings with more efficient ones, Installation of 5 detectors in public buildings, replacement of 10 traffic lights to LED lights
- TRANSPORTATION: creation of a bus lane, improved signalling, comfort and information at stops, reduced tariffs/ subsidies for public transport use, improved accessibility to public transport, existence of an intercity shuttle, existence of intercity public transport infrastructure, efficient driving course
- LOCAL ELECTRICITY PRODUCTION: Installation of 5000kW photovoltaic power in the municipality, installation of 100 square meters of solar thermal energy, installation of 37.46 meters square of solar panels.
- TERRITORIAL MANAGEMENT: pedestrian network and routes, plantation, restoration and reforestation of 66 hectares, creation of bike lanes, urban planning criteria of sustainable mobility, reordering traffic, implementation of traffic calming elements, creation of network of cycle routes, bicycle loan system, pedestrialisation of the historical district, traffic restrictions in the downtown area, conditioning of sidewalks to promote pedestrian transport, establishment of a time control of commercial loading/unloading.
- COLLABORATION WITH CITIZENS AND STAKEHOLDERS: tax reduction for more efficient transport modes, creation of Mobility Forum, Development of e-participation, creation of shared car platform, awareness campaigns, promotion of sustainable mobility in schools, promotion of pedestrian mobility etc.
Below, sustainable energy actions already implemented (or under development) in La Zubia are:
- Installation of a biomass boiler of 162 kW in a public school C.P. ISABEL LA CATOLICA (in 2013)
- Solar thermal energy facilities for solar water heating in two sports centers (La Caña, Los Hoyos) (500l/day – 4m2) have been completed
- Electrical parking and charging lot and private PV facility in EU Laurel industrial area have been completed
- Reducing power managing centers for Public lighting (20 centers to achieve an energy reduction during night hours of 35%)