Guadix

01   Guadix is a Spanish municipality of Province of Granada, Andalusia (Southeast of Spain). It has 20.610 inhabitants, and an area of 317 km2. It is located in the center-east of the province of Granada, 43 km from the capital. The area in question is embodied in a tectonic depression of Guadix-Baza. Internally, clearly defines the local terrain within this depression to the “Hoya de Guadix”, with about 2300 km2. It is surrounded by high mountains on the SW (Sierra Arana), South (Sierra Nevada) and SE (Baza-Filabres), leaving the rest of its perimeter marked by gentle relief with some isolated ranges. Thus, you can follow its limits west to east through the hills of “Moreda”, Montejicar and Guadalhortuna, “Peña del Cambron” and the southern end of the “Sierra del Pozo” (both in Jaén) and, finally, the peak “Jabalcón”.

The region “Accitania” has lost in the last five decades, more than half of its population in the absence of economic expectations. This strong migration persists. Due to this loss of human capital it increases the number of aging and population stagnation and degradation (as the social and economic development lowers due to contraction of the demand).

This situation does not seem reversible in the short term. By far, the regional economy remains dependent on agriculture and livestock activities, but these activities are facing, as in the rest of the Developed World, severe problems. For decades it has been fostered a “modernization” translated into increased investment in technology (machinery, seeds, feed and chemicals) that have not achieved the economic performance pursued. This situation has been mitigated for the past 30 years by the Common Agricultural Policy of the European Union (CAP), which artificially increased the income of farmers through subsidies. However, this system is undergoing revision for a reduction (the “new CAP”) in a time when farms go through serious problems due to source pricing policy clearly unfavorable for producers and subject to the interests of the marketing business. The latter, moreover, are increasingly disconnected from local or regional production due to the relocation of supply of raw materials and a company policy focusing solely on profit maximization. Consequently, an increasing farm abandonment or conversion to productions in which the cost/benefit is usually more favorable for the farmer to require little investment and labor and they are usually holders who do not have primarily engaged in agriculture.02

The growing presence of the Guadix valley malls is a good example.

Faced with the decline of agricultural activities, the relief by the secondary and tertiary sectors has not arrived yet decisively. In general, the first keeps a low profile, focusing on business schemes locally or regionally and in the food industry or construction, but given the current situation, future prospects are not clear. As the tertiary sector Guadix still retains its role as regional mall. However, this activity also shows serious signs of deterioration (with few exceptions) in which their inability to compete with other shopping centers easily accessible for a region that always constituted its main customers (specially Granada) is in addition to not having known or unable to take advantage of the excellent geographic location of the city to turn it into a distribution center on a larger scale.

Thus, the town of Guadix has evolved from the predominance of the agricultural workforce in 1970, which was up 71.9% of the population employed in services is currently a 60.54%, two-thirds of the entire local population, following the general trend in Spain.

The total area of agricultural holdings for 2009 was 32,212 hectares. The farm structure is dominated by small archaic uncompetitive farms, although the number of agricultural enterprises has been gradually reducing and increasing the average farm size.

If we speak about industrial activities, before those have never had relevance to the economy, but now constitute a sector of economic importance. Among the industrial licensing employment generating manufacturing dominated primarily engaged in livestock product processing, baking and pastry, wood and furniture, as well as metal processing. Although it has declined in recent years, the construction industry is the second largest economic activity of the city, after trade.

Negative factors are mainly the lack of capital, weak infrastructure, shortage of skilled human capital and especially lack of entrepreneurial culture.03

The starting point is the availability of industrial land through the existing industrial estate, commodities, new communication infrastructures, improvement of human capital already undergoing, and over all this, raising general, vocational and entrepreneurial training. The municipality can offer as well the features of an average city attractive and well equipped with services. It is necessary, thus, a local program to attract foreign investments.

At last if we speak about services, this economical area constitutes the largest sector of the economy. The trend of increasing service workforce, constant in recent decades, is the result of the overall process of economic diversification in Granada, which has been accompanied by the gradual decline of the population engaged in agriculture, in the absence of a genuine development industrial activity.

Speaking about the energy situation, we could say that in the town of Guadix energy self-sufficiency exists for the use of renewable energies, as the Guadix plateau is a major center for wind and solar thermal power generation.

Energy situation

The municipality conducted a Municipal Energy Audit during 2006, and from that moment has mainly worked in its public lighting. The municipality has already undertaken mainly works in its public lighting, having about half of its lighting with sodium vapor lamps at low and high pressure.

During 2007, the municipality implemented a project subsidized by the City Program 21 of the Ministry of Environment “Promoting energy saving and efficiency and use of renewable energy in the town of Guadix”. Since then all investments made by the Electricity Service have come to replace other equipment and lamps for low power enhancements and command centers.

Now the municipality has just finished its SEAP so it will start working on improving and applying the main working lines under its Sustainable Energy Action Plan, with which it aims to save an ambitious 20% of its CO2 emissions by 2020.

Speaking about new initiatives, as the economic crisis is affecting every program of the institution one of the main lines in which is mainly working now the municipality is to attract private money, and to go for a contract with an ESCO company in summer 2013. This will let the municipality improve its dependencies without more budget, with an estimated savings of 45% over the current consumption, as well as will promote the business case and examples to all citizens in order to promote more local actions.

Sustainable energy actions already implemented (or under development) in Guadix are:

  1. Installation of LED and HPVS with 40% savings in the public lighting through an ESCO contract
  2. Solar Thermal Energy Facilities of 26.517kW for Solar Water Heating in Polideportivo Municipal

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