Local Daily News 15th September

Solar self-consumption soars in Alicante with more than a thousand new installations per month

The fever for photovoltaic panels does not stop. As high electricity prices continue and with no sign of the situation returning to normal, more and more companies and individuals in the province are turning to solar self-consumption in an attempt to contain the monthly bill, which remains at unsustainable levels for many businesses and families.

The figures are clear. According to the latest balance of the Ministry of Sustainable Economy, in the first six months of this year alone, 5,174 new facilities have been registered in the province, more than in the whole of last year, when they totaled 4,709. But the trend does not stop accelerating, as can be seen if the quarterly data are analysed separately. In the first quarter, 2,067 installations were registered, while between April and June there were 3,107. That is, more than a thousand new projects every month.

“It is the natural response of consumers to the rise in electricity. But make no mistake, this is here to stay and soon it will be rare to see a roof or the cover of a factory without plates,” says the president of the Valencian Association of Renewable Energies (Avaesen), Marcos J. Lacruz.

With current prices, amortisation periods are getting shorter, to the point that in industrial facilities the investment can be recovered in just one year, explains the CEO of Solar Covering, Luis Navarro. “It is already a matter of survival for many companies. Although they can pay the electricity bills, those who do not have plates will be less competitive because their costs will be higher,” says the specialist. In the case of individuals, the terms are between two and three years.

The increase in new installations is even more striking if one takes into account the many problems faced by companies in the sector, which have been affected by delays in supplies -which arrive mainly from Asia- and, above all, the lack of specialised labour. In other words, the pace could have been even higher. In addition, it must be taken into account that during last spring it rained more days than usual in the province, which is also an obstacle when carrying out this type of work, since the regulations for the prevention of occupational risks require that they be suspended in these circumstances.

With this year’s registrations, a total of 11,861 solar self-consumption installations have already been registered in the province, which add up to a total power of 109.7 megawatts. In other words, they generate the equivalent of the energy consumed by some 70,000 homes.

Of that figure, up to 10,287 correspond to facilities to supply homes, while the rest -1,574- correspond to industrial facilities and other types of companies, public buildings, garages, extraction pumps or water elevation and up to a project to provide power to an elevator, according to data from the Ministry. Of course, if you look at power, the figures are reversed, since industrial facilities are much larger.

In this regard, both the president of Avaesen and the CEO of Solar Cover denounce the obstacles that exist so that large installations can pour their surpluses into the network and obtain compensation for that energy, which means wasting the electricity generated by the panels from many companies on weekends or during non-working hours. Thus, many firms are also beginning to install batteries so as not to lose this energy and reinforce their energy independence.

By municipalities, Elche remains at the head as the population of the entire Valencian Community with the highest volume of facilities in operation, with a total of 905; followed by Alicante, with 761; and Orihuela, with 653. The figures for Xàbia also stand out, with 548 covers; and San Vicente del Raspeig, with 511.

From the Ministry they point out that the promotion of self-consumption is one of the “fundamental pillars” to achieve the energy transition towards a clean energy model. For this reason, and given the current context, which has been aggravated by the war in Ukraine, the department headed by Rafa Climent has asked the Ministry for the Ecological Transition to increase the budget assigned to Ivace to promote self-consumption by 50 million addition to the 40 already granted.

The UMH of Elche demonstrates that olive oil lengthens life

“It is advisable to consume two or more tablespoons of olive oil per day.” This is one of the conclusions of the new study carried out by the Nutrition Epidemiology Unit of the Miguel Hernández University (UMH) of Elche that has just been made public. In a joint investigation, in which the Alicante Health and Biomedical Research Institute (ISABIAL) has also participated, which has been published in the specialised journal Frontiers in Nutrition, “a protective effect of olive oil consumption has been observed in adults of the Valencian Community”, assure from the academic institution. To reach such a resounding conclusion, they have done a job that has not been easy at all, since the diet and lifestyle of more than 1,500 participants have been analysed for 18 years, the study concludes that the habitual consumption of olive oil is associated lower risk of death from all causes and from cardiovascular disease and cancer.

The investigation found that in the mid-1990s, 82% of the Valencian adult population consumed olive oil on a daily basis. This key food of the Mediterranean diet is studied for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antihypertensive properties, among others. In this work, led by the Professor of Preventive Medicine and Public Health at the UMH Jesús Vioque, the impact of olive oil consumption on mortality from various causes has been studied.

The first signatory of the study, the UMH researcher Laura Torres Collado, explains that they evaluated mortality in a total of 1,567 adults aged 20 or over, who participated in the Nutrition and Health Survey of the Valencian Community. Survey participants were assessed in the mid-1990s for health status and major lifestyles such as tobacco use, physical activity, and usual diet, including regular consumption of olive oil. After 18 years of follow-up, it was found that, compared to not consuming, habitually consuming two or more tablespoons of olive oil per day was associated with a 31% reduction in the risk of total mortality, a 46% lower risk of cardiovascular mortality and a 51% lower risk of death from cancer.

The UMH researchers conclude that regular consumption of olive oil is safe and can significantly reduce the risk of death in the long term. However, they recommend carrying out more large prospective studies to confirm this beneficial effect of olive oil in other non-Mediterranean populations and thus be able to make more precise recommendations on the consumption and type of olive oil as a component of a healthy eating pattern.

La Vega Baja, present at the 1st Provincial Potato Tortilla Contest in Alicante Gastronomica

The 4th Alicante Gastronomic Fair, Mediterranean Lifestyle, will have as its central axis the celebration of the 1st Spanish Omelette Congress and the 15th Spanish Omelette Championship. Tescoma Trophy. Within this framework, and in order to contribute to highlighting the cuisine and cooks of Alicante, the 1st Spanish Omelette Contest of the Province of Alicante will be held in which two restaurants from the Vega Baja: “The Agus Gastrobar ” (Orihuela) and “Racobos” (Guardamar del Segura).

The contestants will demonstrate their skills with the classic potato omelette, as well as in its version “with Alicante identity” on Friday, September 23 from 4:00 p.m.

In this way, Fernando García from “RaCobos” will participate in the “Classic Tortilla” category; and Agustín Martínez from “The Agus Gastrobar” will participate in the category “Tortilla with Alicante identity”.

Three injured on the A-70 as it passes through Elche after the collision of two cars

Three people have been injured this Wednesday after two cars collided on the A-70 as it passes through Elche. The accident occurred at 1:45 p.m. at kilometre 30. The Emergency Information and Coordination Centre (CICU) has mobilised a SAMU unit, a SVB unit and a conventional ambulance to attend to the injured, as reported by the communication office of the CICU.

The SAMU medical team has assisted a 49-year-old woman who had a head injury. She has subsequently been evacuated to the General University Hospital of Elche, in the advanced life support ambulance.

A 25-year-old woman has also been treated for poly contusions and anxiety attacks. She has been transferred to the Vinalopó Hospital in the basic life support ambulance. The third affected is a 38-year-old man, who had an open wound on his arm and has also been transferred by ambulance to the Vinalopó hospital.

The Ministry of Education uses coexistence coordinators as school wellness specialists

“The reality and problems of the centres cannot be ignored. Guaranteeing the well-being and protection of students against violence is a central task that should not be assigned to a teacher at the cost of a greater work overload.” Union representatives of the Workers Commissions and UGT agree in demanding that those responsible for Education take the role of the new school welfare coordinator seriously, which contemplates the new law on childhood and adolescence, of June 2021, in every school.

They emphasise that the Ministry cannot limit itself, as it is doing, to delegating the new task to the current coexistence coordinators, volunteer teachers who barely have a couple of hours a week to fight against bullying and cyberbullying. “The same teachers are assigned to those who are overloaded with work, so it will be difficult for this new figure to change the reality of the centres,” they lament from Workers Commissions. “In the new course instructions there is a total absence of any reference to the action protocols included in the Children’s Law”, they abound from UGT.

Said legislation includes exhaustively “together with the coexistence plan, the need for action protocols against signs of abuse and mistreatment, bullying, cyberbullying, sexual harassment, gender violence, domestic violence, suicide, self-harm and any other form of violence. For the correct functioning of these protocols, a well-being and projection coordinator is constituted in all educational centres”.

Many of these functions, as the teaching representatives warn, cannot be carried out individually in an office, “they require coordination with families, social services, and authorities. What is reasonable is one more person on the staff full time and with a profile of Services to the Community”, specify from Workers Commissions.

“It was already insufficient to unite in the same coordination two issues as important as equality and coexistence, so that now the one linked to well-being and school protection is united,” they point out from UGT. In the same way, they propose new specialists in Community Services or Socio-community Intervention as well as increasing resources, including the general training of teachers.

Prejudice can have very negative consequences, especially in the adolescent stage, when personal identity is built, and specialists in hate speech warn that the signals given by students in high school must be detected as soon as possible to counteract them adequately. .

Kilian Cuerda is one of these specialists, and in fact he puts his conclusions into practice both in the course of his Geography and History classes and in the institute in general, although from the outset he emphasises that classrooms are not bubbles but a reflection of society , which is why they reproduce the same “assault against the consensus of human rights” that is how they describe hate speech.

Expressions of the type “ay maricon”, which when the author is disfigured are immediately replied with “it’s a joke”, actually hide a serious danger of hatred, says Cuerda.

“It is not a way of speaking because it is normalised that the condition of a person can be the reason for a gratuitous or generic insult.” Despite not being perceived as homophobic, between the laughter of the classmates and the insulted one himself, “it is one more attack on a homosexual classmate and the teacher must put a stop to it,” he stresses.

Specialists abound that the dynamics of intolerance that are seen in the classrooms go hand in hand with sexist and anti-feminist discourses, and with a stark misogyny being the main indicators.

“It is another of the keys that should put us on alert. They can be micro speeches that at first glance do not seem serious but that among the group of students are creating a dangerous generalisation that leads to normalising, for example, racism.” When faced with colleagues of different origins, they address them with terms such as “shitty Moor” or “sudaca”, substituting those of “bastard” or “asshole”, and this dynamic entails the danger of normalising something that is neither normal nor admissible”, insists Cuerda, in turn union delegate of UGT, formation that is in charge of organising courses so that the teaching staff of the entire Community can counteract these hate speeches in the classrooms.

“It’s complex,” he admits, but it is confirmed after extreme cases of aggression, that it is about radicalised young people who come to see as if it were a close and friendly format, the speeches of intolerance that attack women and foreigners. “They consume audiovisual products from radicalised youtubers or video gamers who transmit their messages between the product and permeate as if it were something normal.”

However, Kilian Cuerda also concludes with a message of hope, because in the classrooms there are already students who defend positions of equality “and that in the last twenty years was not conceived.” Although it is not general, these students many times “do not remain silent in the face of extremist attitudes,” praises Cuerda.

For now, to try to stop the spread of violent comments and encourage reflection, so that students learn to critically interpret both images and speeches, as well as practices that seem to justify hatred and radicalization Education, as contemplated by the Lomloe with funds from the ministry, promotes teacher training as has been undertaken by the education sector of the UGT union.

The courses are aimed at teachers of secondary schools and their objective is that teachers have tools with which to combat hate speech and intolerance in the classroom.

From this training they have proposed to work on this issue in the long term to avoid situations such as the one suffered last year by a teacher from Valencia in charge of students who showed an ideological radicalization, and which culminated in a homophobic aggression.

They are face-to-face courses taught by specialised trainers and they consider including online training to reach the largest possible number of teachers. “It is essential to provide teachers with the tools to be able to work on a day-to-day basis against the hate speech and intolerance promoted by the extreme right among youth, beyond the specific workshops that are usually held” they specify from UGT, emphasising a time in which the key is in “education in democratic values” to achieve “a better society”.

The trainers abound that it is up to the teachers to build a “healthy environment of coexistence around two pillars, critical thinking and empathy”.

Based on the possibility of being critical, young people can be aware of hate messages in order to reject them, as well as fake news in general and the misinformation spread by organised groups.

Specifically, from UGT-teaching they point out that hate speech “aims to break coexistence, pierce empathy and solidarity, and generate hatred against those who want to be seen as different.”

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