The Circular Economy, Solution And Opportunity

The Spanish economy faces an immediate future marked by the pressing need to combat the threats posed to growth by the effects of the pandemic and the invasion of Ukraine, materialized in runaway inflation and tensions in supply chains that aggravate our structural problems and endanger the competitiveness of goods and services.

Boosting the economy, before the most pessimistic predictions come true, requires increasing competitiveness , in a favorable, predictable and stable regulatory framework that allows companies – and especially small and medium-sized ones – to operate, invest and promote excellence , innovation and sustainability and address the threats of climate change and efficiency in the use of resources.

In a transversal way, to achieve this sustainable and efficient economy in the use of resources, the extension of the principles of the Circular Economy , which, in the Industry, has been its most developed way of doing things, must be part and not a minor part of the solution.

The Circular Economy strategy is the core of industrial activity and its reason for being. The Industry has always sought the maximum use of resources , turning waste into valuable raw materials to be reintegrated into the production cycle of new goods and services. The very concept of waste was reconverted in industrial activity into secondary raw material to be one more link in the product life cycle chain.

The “Seven Rs” of the Circular Economy: Redesign products to improve their useful life; Reduce direct consumption; Reuse to prolong the life of products; Renew the use of old objects to overcome their obsolescence; Repair instead of scrap; Recycle; and Recovering used materials for the production of new products, are part of the “commandments” of industrial activity and can be included in a single “R”: Rationalize the production and consumption of goods and services.

The Circular Economy has allowed the Industry to reduce the consumption of energy and raw materials and the impact of its activity on the environment, eliminating discharges, noise, occupation of space and emissions. In other words, it has made it more productive and competitive, more efficient and more sustainable in the use of resources.

At a time of scarcity of energy and raw materials, the Circular Economy can be favored by the application of new information and communication technologies, and by the extension of environmental education.

The Circular Economy, on its way to generating smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, is a decisive factor in driving innovation and qualification and generating new opportunities for economic growth.

Investing in it, promoting it, not only allows reducing waste, consumption and environmental impacts. It also generates employment in the management and recovery of waste and in the development and production of equipment and systems to ensure efficiency and use of resources. The very redesign of products and processes for reuse is a niche of activity and employment.

In a scenario of scarcity and fluctuation in energy prices and raw materials, the Circular Economy contributes to guaranteeing the security of the supply of essential resources, reducing their costs and better managing flows.

From the point of view of industrial companies, the Circular Economy represents an opportunity in terms of production, but also to bring to other sectors of activity the industrial know-how in the transformation, processing, manufacturing and obsolete products that, for Industry, have always been valuable resources.

But, for waste to become secondary raw materials and enter the production chain again, it requires globally accepted standards and specifications that regulate the activity and homogeneity of criteria to prevent this area from being another example of a breakdown of unity market in Spain.

An intelligent Circular Economy policy must be committed to creating markets and defining quality standards for secondary raw materials, and avoiding uncertainties, lack of definition and unnecessary burdens that harm their competitiveness, without compromising the safety and quality of products and services.

The regulation of the Circular Economy cannot be unmanageable for the market players and for the administrations in charge of ensuring its compliance, because this would put the activity itself at risk and discourage innovation and investment in the Circular Economy.

Punishing the development of the Circular Economy with obstacles, taxes and fees goes against the environment, progress and almost against history. But also against the opportunity that its application represents for activity and employment.

Inflation And Public Spending

Inflation has been with us for months now , including the US and the more developed economies of the EU, and inflation is scary, and not just for those who live on their salaries. The words of Jerome Powell, Chairman of the US Federal Reserve prove it:

“Reducing inflation is likely to require a sustained period of below-trend growth. In addition, weakening labor market conditions are very likely. Higher interest rates, slower growth and weaker market conditions ” Weaker labor markets will reduce inflation, but they will also cause some pain for households and businesses. These are the unfortunate costs of reducing inflation. But if price stability is not restored, the pain will be much greater.”

Not so long ago that some analysts said that inflation would be transitory and that in a few months it would be overcome. Well, these well-intentioned prophets have made a resounding mistake and that is why the entire West is preparing to fight inflation, and the formulas for that fight are as well known as they are unpleasant: lower public spending, raise interest rates, lower real wages, etc etc.

And in Spain what? I do not believe that the current government is willing to practice any anti-inflationary policy , since its survival rests on a government coalition and a parliamentary majority that is only politically sustainable from the logic of greater public spending, whatever the circumstances of the economy. And that is what this government desperately needs to function. If he is deprived of it or if the dose is lowered, he collapses. This is the result of getting into bed with populism and separatism.

The analyst Ignacio Varela has thus seen the refusal of sanchismo to lower taxes:

“It is a mistake to interpret the Executive’s fierce resistance to tax cuts as an ideological position. The thing is simpler and, at the same time, more dangerous: it needs to continue breaking historical collection records to sustain the leonine spending commitments with its partners and reach the elections without loosening one iota of the clientelistic watering can that the president calls “protecting the working middle classes”, the second vice president, “full support for union demands”, and any responsible person, in the present situation, would point out as the surest way to ruin the country in the midst of escalating prices. First of all, to the working middle classes.”

Economic rigor and political polarization mix as poorly as electoral budgets and an effective fight against inflation.

Be that as it may, these difficulties are compounded by the electoral proximity: in May 2023 regional and municipal elections and in eighteen months in general, and the proximity of those dates does not give much room to fight against inflation, unless, of course, , that the EU get serious and demand measures against inflation from all its members, including Italy and Spain.

And it is that populism does not stop mowing the grass under the feet of democracy, either in Latin America, or in the EU. For example, it is not understood that in developed Italy the Draghi government has been charged to give way to populism , this time probably from the right.

30 Telegram Channels Closed For Selling Counterfeit Branded Products

Three criminal groups used the Telegram social network to sell branded products from Asia that were counterfeit . To do this, they used camouflaged links that allowed them to bypass the anti-counterfeit controls established by the platforms and by the brands.

This operation began at the end of 2020 and as reported by the Police this Thursday, there have been six people in Barcelona, ​​Cáceres, Madrid, Murcia, Valencia and Ferrol , while another ten people have been declared under investigation.

This new fraudulent modality requires that the manufacturers of counterfeit products and those who run the entire network need to recruit people in each country to be able to advertise their products . In this way, a ‘network of affiliates’ is being generated who receive commissions for each transaction, which encourages more operations to be carried out.

new tools
In these channels, daily and systematically, a multitude of camouflaged links were advertised that allowed the purchase of counterfeit textile products through an online sales platform, simulating the purchase of unbranded products. Some of these channels had more than 45,000 users, which exponentially increased the sales volume of each item offered.

To further increase sales volume they designed ‘ bots ‘ or computer programs that perform the tasks they are programmed to do. This procedure allowed them to automate publications and carry out other actions such as detecting and acting against users who did not follow the established security measures.

Cheapest Electricity Rates On The Market, According To The OCU

Despite the fact that the ‘Iberian exception’ mechanism is allowing customers in Spain to lower their electricity bill (around 11% less) , the truth is that the price they must pay is still too high. So much so that in this month of August the average regulated bill has been the second most expensive in history , rising to 130.99 euros for an average household, according to the Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU).

“This rise would have been even greater if the gas cap had not been in force, since the average bill would have reached 151.55 euros, becoming the most expensive in history,” explains the organization.

For this reason, it is more convenient than ever to analyze the possibilities offered by the market in order to select the best possible offer. However, “the most interesting rates are not usually easy to find,” considers OCU. In addition, as the organization has been able to verify, many of the main marketers do not clearly indicate on their websites the additional charge that must be paid by all new contracts and renewals after April 26 as compensation for the gas cap mechanism, so that the actual price may be increased upon receipt of the invoice.

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To identify the best rates, OCU has identified what, for the organization, are the best offers currently available. However, they recommend users who have a contracted offer before April 26 not to be dazzled by the good prices and to carefully study their situation. “If your current contract is prior to April 26, check carefully that your rate is really more expensive, since to all the ones we show you here you have to add the cost of the measures to limit the price of gas,” they warn.

Domestic Energy
This marketer offers its electricity rate with three periods, with the advantage of including the measure of limiting the price of gas in the cost. “It is, therefore, one of the few offers on the free market that offer a real fixed price ,” says OCU, who believes that having a fixed price, although it may seem high, is very attractive.

Thus, for each kWh consumed, they charge 0.291913 euros/MWh during peak hours, 0.245131 euros/MWh during flat hours and 0.21999 euros/MWh during off-peak hours. In addition, the fixed price per kW contracted during peak hours is 28.16413 euros and the fixed price per kW contracted during off-peak hours is 3.14338 euros.

Iberdrola Online Plan
Available only through online contracting and with an electronic invoice, this rate does not include the cost of the measure to limit gas in generation, so for each kWh consumed (at 0.159353 euros) the cost will have to be added. of the gas measurement, which in August was, on average, 0.161529 euros/KWh.

The price per kW contracted during peak hours is 30.66747 euros, while during off-peak hours it is 4.104338 euros. In addition, from OCU they warn that this rate will be reviewed according to the CPI on January 1, “something that must be taken into account due to the high CPI.”

Iberdrola Special Plan
This rate, on the other hand, is contemplated for telephone and face-to-face contracts in offices. Its starting prices are higher than those of the Online Plan but it has a 15% discount during the first year. Similarly, this rate will be updated according to the CPI on January 1 and does not include the cost of the measure to limit gas in generation.

The price stipulated for each kWh consumed is 0.178662 euros, less the 15% extra discount, plus the measured cost of gas (in August 0.161529 euros/KWh). For each kW contracted during peak hours, the tariff charges 30.52381 euros (less 15%) and 3.512901 euros (less 15%) during off-peak hours.

Endesa Tarifa One Light
This rate includes a promotion that discounts 10% on consumption and an additional 10% during the first 12 months, but does not include the cost of the measure to limit gas in generation.

For each kWh consumed, the rate establishes 0.189 euros, to which must be discounted 10% + an additional 10% discount and add the measured cost of gas (in August 0.161529 euros/KWh). For each kW contracted during peak hours, the price is 33.86 euros, while during off-peak hours it is 7.9973 euros.

Total Energies
This company offers a personalized price plan, so to know the rate you have to upload a current invoice to its website and receive your proposal. “This allows the company to improve the prices that the potential customer is paying, but presenting the most aggressive offers only to customers who already have a low rate,” explains OCU.

In general, the company usually offers three different types of rates (with the same price 24 hours a day, with two sections or with three sections and two powers). The commitment is to keep the personalized discount for 4 years, but the price on which that discount is applied is only kept for the first 12 months. In addition, this rate does not include the cost of the measure to limit gas in generation.

How Science Explains The Success Of Coldplay

The thing about Coldplay, without falling into comparisons, reminds us of the times of “historical records” of the Rolling Stone , The Beatles or Elvis when they filled stadiums and drove their fans crazy to get a ticket for their concerts. And it is that the British are sweeping with their latest tour called Music Of The Spheres Tour 2023 that will pass through Barcelona next May.

That’s right, the band led by Chris Martin breaks a historical record in Spain and sold out 200,00 tickets in less than 24 hours for four consecutive nights of concerts in Barcelona, ​​exactly at the Lluís Companys Stadium.

This event, which keeps them trending these days on social networks and in the media, forces us to collect their story and understand the “key” to their success, but not from the conventionalism of “money-making” or “money-making” gangs. companies”, but from another guideline, from science .

best sound in the morning
To do this, the musical psychologist David M. Greenberg , from the University of Cambridge (United Kingdom), analyzed a group of songs hand in hand with Spotify in order to identify which is the best song to wake up to in the morning.

“Waking up is hard. It’s a real problem, and sometimes it’s a battle to change from feeling tired and agitated to being alert and motivated ,” Greenberg explained upon revealing the Spotify study, which was conducted to find out the type of music that is consume on the internet.

Coldplay and their “proper” music
That’s how he came to ‘Viva la vida’, from the album ‘Viva la Vida Or Death And All His Friends’, by the band Coldplay . “Science shows that music affects us in many ways, including emotionally and physiologically, and within the brain. The right music, like Coldplay’s ‘Viva La Vida’, with its positive energy and strong dynamism, can help you wake up, fill yourself with energy and face the rest of the day , “argued the musical psychologist.

Intensity, positivity and powerful rhythm
For the analysis of the songs, Spotify and Greenberg were based on three musical aspects that ‘Vive la Vida’ fulfills: ” intensity (a song that is too energetic from the beginning will not help you get out of bed. Songs with a softer beginning , which gradually gain intensity help to wake you up gradually); positivity (once you’re awake, you need to motivate yourself for the day ahead); and powerful rhythm (not only the lyrics are important; the sound elements of the music too They are. They will give you energy and improve your good mood).”

In this regard, Angela Watts , Spotify’s vice president of global communications, explained that “music can intensify any time of day, whether you’re on your way to somewhere, working, exercising or celebrating at a party. The playlist to wake up from Spotify will get you started on those gloomy mornings, even before your first cup of coffee of the day .”

In the studio, ‘Viva la Vida’ is followed by ‘Downtown’ by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, ‘Lovely Day’ by Bill Withers and ‘Confident’ by Demi Lovato.

Home Mortgages Increased In Castilla y León By 28.6%

The number of mortgages constituted on homes in Castilla y León stood at 1,929 in the month of June 2022 and increased by 28.6 percent compared to the same month of the previous year, higher than the increase in Spain (12.0 percent). hundred).

According to the data released this Friday by the National Institute of Statistics (INE) collected by Europa Press, compared to the previous month the constitution of mortgages was also positive in Castilla y León, which gained 10.7 percent, better evolution in this case than the average, where they fell by 3.2 percent.

For its part, the capital loaned in Castilla y León for the constitution of mortgages on homes reached 205,286 million euros, 43 percent more than in June 2021, much higher compared to the national increase (18.7 percent) and a 10.7 percent increase compared to the previous month, compared to a 4.3 percent decline nationally.

The communities with the highest number of mortgages constituted on dwellings during May were Madrid (8,026)), Andalusia (7,916) and Catalonia (6,905) and those in which more capital was lent for the constitution of mortgages on dwellings are the Community of Madrid (1,799 million). euros), Catalonia (1,133) and Andalusia (1,018 million).

In total and according to the data provided by the INE, the citizens of Castilla y León mortgaged 2,635 properties, both rural and urban, for a value of 268,795 million euros during June. Specifically, 2,587 urban properties were mortgaged for a value of 255,803 million euros and 68 rural property mortgages were constituted for 12,992 million euros.

Valladolid was the province in which the most properties were mortgaged in June 2022, with a total of 813 for a value of 88,403 million. It is followed by Burgos (555 farms for 46,337 million), León (359 for 36,228), Salamanca (261 for 28,484), Soria (155 for 12,451 million), Palencia (144 for 18,598), Segovia (137 for 14,357) and Ávila (125). for 13,115 million).

Below the 100 mortgaged farms is only Zamora, with 86 farms for 10,822 million.

Specifically, of the 2,567 mortgaged urban properties in June, 1,929 were homes, for a capital of 205,286 million euros; 22 were solar, for a capital of 8,278 million euros , and 616 were classified as “other urban”, for 42,239 million euros.

The largest capital of mortgaged urban properties in June corresponded to banks (224,648 million corresponding to 2,265 mortgaged properties), followed by other entities (31,155 million corresponding to 302 properties).

For its part, the largest capital of mortgaged rustic properties in June also corresponded to banks (8,643 million corresponding to 37 properties) followed by other entities (4,349 million euros corresponding to 31 mortgaged properties).

Finally, in June, a total of 2,611 properties were canceled in Castilla y León, 2,338 by banks and 273 by other entities, of which 119 are rural properties and 2,611 urban homes.

Real Estate Investment Points To Records In 2022

The positive data from last year for real estate already predicted an even better 2022. And, for now, this is confirmed by the figures from BNP Paribas Real Estate: in the first half of the year , 8,200 million euros were invested in the real estate market , which points to a historic investment volume, with 4,580 million in the real estate market alone. second quarter.

The French bank’s real estate consultant points out in its At A Glance T2022 report that investment activity has been very dynamic these months despite the uncertainties in the international context. Added to the war in Ukraine are inflation and the rise in interest rates , which could draw a less favorable scenario for real estate. However, the figures show that the second quarter has followed the trail of optimism of 2021.

In BNP they point out that the investment market “is in a unique situation”, due to the current diversity of opportunities. The existence of many open and pending negotiation processes this year suggests record numbers in 2022 as a whole, above the peak of 2019. It must be remembered that in 2021 real estate investment in Spain grew by more than 30%.

The volume of real estate investment in this second quarter amounts, as we said, to 4,580 million euros, driven by the repurchase by BBVA of 659 bank branches . The figure represents an advance of 24% compared to the first quarter and 55% if we compare it with the same period of the previous year. This is the largest volume of real estate investment in the entire historical series , according to BNP.

The ‘retail’ sector, protagonist
The retail sector registered 55% of the total investment between April and June, where supermarkets and hypermarkets have shone . By typology, high street stores , which account for 50% of retail movements, and shopping malls, which are once again the focus of investors, are once again in the spotlight.

The living sector is also experiencing a good moment, with the residential -private rented sector and build to rent- leading the way. It concentrated 16% of the investments in the second quarter, thanks, above all, to the increase in demand. In the first six months of 2022, total residential investment reached 1,710 million euros , 92% more than a year ago.

Hotels and offices, on the rise
The offices also strengthen their return, with 1,300 million euros in transactions between January and June, 31% more. In contrast to 2021, Madrid has become the most dynamic market so far this year.

The recovery of the tourism sector has also been reflected in hotel investment, which grew by 125% annually in the first half. As indicated by BNP, the investments have been distributed mainly between Madrid, Mallorca, Catalonia and Andalusia.

As for alternative assets, these have moved a total of 257 million euros, which maintain an investment figure similar to that of 2021 and are divided between student residences (40% of the total), nursing homes (40%) and clinics, laboratories and medical centers (20%). The investments have been distributed eminently between Madrid, Barcelona and Seville.

With a volume of 165 million euros, the logistics sector is the only one that seems to have suffered in this period. BNP attributes this to the failure to close large operations in the sector.

The profile of the investor in the Spanish market
According to the consultant, the large institutional funds are the most active, since they represent 50% of the operations registered in the first semester. Banks and insurance companies also stand out. Thus, in recent months the movements of Greystar have stood out -with the acquisition of 2,500 build-to-rent homes-, Brookfield -purchase of the Princess Triangle- and MDSR with the purchase of the Carrefour portfolio.

Almost half of the operations have been carried out by national investors. Internationally, it is the Germans, with 18% of the total, who have invested the most capital in the Spanish real estate market -the living sector is their preferred investment asset-, followed by the French and North Americans, who between them reach a 30% of the market share in the first half of the year.

Today, thanks to collaborative investment and technology, the profile of the investor is also open to ordinary citizens. Anyone can participate in the financing of a real estate project from small amounts of money. The vehicle for this is the real estate crowdfunding or participatory financing platforms, such as Urbanitae where, from 500 euros, we can rub shoulders with the large funds and benefit, just like them, from interesting returns. A real opportunity considering that, in the global context, real estate continues to show great strength and reaffirms its position as a haven investment.

Lack Of Graduates Prevented 7000 Computer Engineering Positions

The lack of graduates prevented 7,000 computer engineering positions from being filled in 2021.

Some 7,000 positions for computer engineers were left unfilled in 2021 due to a lack of these professionals. Although in sectors related to information technology the unemployment rate barely reaches 3%, companies and institutions annually find, with extreme difficulty, between 35,000 and 40,000 experts to fill these technical positions.

It is one of the conclusions of the IV study of ‘Employability and Digital Talent 2021’, which warns of the shortage of specialized talent. In fact, there were only 8,147 computer science graduates for more than 14,000 companies with hiring processes in these specialties.

“Spain should create 1.3 million ICT specialists by 2030, when at current rates we would not reach 400,000”, recently assured the director of the VASS Foundation and responsible for this study, Antonio Rueda.

In addition, computer engineering careers in Spain only have 16% of female students, despite the fact that they achieve better performance. Specifically, only one in six ICT specialists and one in three graduates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics are women.

The Canal Reservoirs In Madrid Are At 61% Of Their Capacity

The reservoirs managed by Canal de Isabel II to supply the Community of Madrid currently store 579,565 cubic hectometres, 61% of their maximum capacity, which is 11.2 points less than a year ago and clearly below the historical series .

The Madrid swamps have been losing water since May, the month they finished at almost 74% of their capacity. On July 1 they were at 69% while they started August at 64%. It is a situation that is repeated aggravated in the rest of Spain, where the reservoirs are at an average of 37.9% of their capacity.

Currently, at the head of water storage in Madrid is the El Atazar reservoir, with 258,641 cubic hectometres; followed by Valmayor (101,757 hm3) and Santillana (53,623 hm3) with slight decreases compared to the previous week.

The ones that collect less water are those of Navalmedio, which is at 40% of its capacity and 0.283 hm3, and that of La Jarosa, which is at 47% and 3,404 cubic hectometres.

This summer there has been hardly any rainfall in the dams. Specifically, in July 5.8 liters per square meter were registered compared to the 12.7 average that marks the historical series. This explains why, during the last month, the contributions collected in the reservoirs have also been below average. Specifically, the region’s reserves have received 6.4 cubic hectometres of water.

With these data, and although the hydrological situation in the region is normal, Canal de Isabel II has requested the collaboration of all citizens so that they continue to use water responsibly and efficiently.

A YouTuber Gets A Snake To Walk Thanks To Robotic Legs

Engineer Allen Pan posted a video on his YouTube channel explaining how he had developed robotic legs to prevent snakes from crawling on the ground. Bees, cheetahs, seals and dogs: this will be the robotic animals of the future.

One of the main characteristics of snakes is that they do not have legs and, therefore, they do not walk, but instead move along the ground by crawling. Some scientists suggest that the evolution of these animals caused them to lose their legs more than 100 million years ago. However, youtuber and engineer Allen Pan wanted to change the nature of these reptiles and create robotic legs for a snake.

Pan published a video on his YouTube channel in which he explained how the process had been to develop a structure that would allow the animal to walk. “I feel bad for the snakes,” he jokes in the video to justify creating the robotic legs. “They lost their legs and no one is looking for them.”

In order to make his device suitable for snakes, Pan designed his robot with a transparent tube in which one of these animals could easily slide inside.

In addition to the tube, the artifact has 4 robotic legs that have 3 joints and 2 servos. All of them can be controlled remotely through a computer .

To test his invention, the youtuber visited a snake breeder. There, Pan was able to introduce one of these reptiles into the tube and see if it worked as he had expected or not.

Initially, the results were not favorable. However, after several unsuccessful attempts, the snake began to voluntarily slide down the tube and the legs began to ‘walk’ as programmed.

The YouTube video was uploaded 3 days ago and has more than 2,600,000 views at the time of writing this article. However, it is not the only site that has gone viral. Allen Pan also uploaded a snippet to Twitter that already has more than 16,000,000 views.