600 “Green Mosques” to be created in Morocco
As part of a national consciousness-raising initiative to speed up the country’s journey to clean energy, six hundred “Green Mosques” will be created in Morocco by March 2019.
The initiative, entitled Energy Efficiency in Mosques, was introduced in March 2014 by the Moroccan Ministry of Energy (MEMEE) and the Ministry of Religious Affairs (MHAI), in cooperation with the state energy investment company (SIE) and the national agency for renewable energies and energy efficiency (ADEREE).
The programme aims to improve the energy efficiency of mosques by using energy-saving lighting, photovoltaic electricity generation and solar water heating.
It was for the most part designed to raise public awareness of renewable energies and energy efficiency in Morocco, as well as create business and employment opportunities in these areas.
Project managers also hope that this will result in significant savings for the Moroccan Ministry of Religious Affairs, which currently pays the electricity bills of 15,000 mosques nationwide.
As the renovations should cut the mosques’ electricity usage by 40%, these savings should be substantial.
Morocco’s ministry of Islamic affairs is funding up to 70 per cent of the initial investment costs in a partnership with the German government.
Jan-Christophe Kuntze, the project’s chief, said: “We want to raise awareness and mosques are important centres of social life in Morocco. They are a place where people exchange views about all kinds of issues including, hopefully, why renewables and energy efficiency might be a good idea.”
Morocco has established itself as a regional climate leader with high-profile projects, ranging from the largest wind farm in Africa to the largest concentrated solar power plant in the world.
In November 2016, Marrakech will host the COP22 climate summit to discuss preparations for implementing the Paris climate agreement.
The country’s environment minister, Hakima el-Haité, believes that religion could make a powerful contribution to clean energy: “It is very important for Muslim countries to come back to their traditions and remind people that we are miniscule as humans before the importance of the earth. We need to protect it, and to save humankind in the process.”
The Sustainable Innovation Forum 2016 will take place during the annual Conference of Parties (COP22) on 14-15 November at the Four Seasons, Marrakech, Morocco.
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