What’s the Morocco’s challenge for the renewable energies? Involving also its places of worship in the change. Actually, especially its worship places. By March 2019 600 mosques will be converted to the green energies and 100 by the end of 2016. The project has been launched by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs in Rabat after have signed an agreement with the German government which ensured a technological business support and a training of specialized technicians.
The procedure has a great potential, especially when you consider that in Morocco mosques are more than 15,000. The first to be converted to renewable will be those of the major cities like Rabat, Fez, Marrakech and Casablanca, but gradually even small villages will be affected by the new regulations. It would seem a novelty, but the Moroccan Islam is very attentive on the environment: since a couple of years it’s trying to establish itself as a regional leader in the development of renewable energies, with the launch of several projects for the construction of large wind farms and photovoltaic.
The changes that will affect the 600 mosques of the project will focus on installing plants for the production of clean energy (photovoltaic) and hot water (solar thermal) and replacing lighting systems with low-power and long-life lamps (LEDs). These interventions will reduce the 40% of the electricity bill. Another benefit expected from the new legislation is the implementation of the green economy in the field of restructuring through training electricians, technicians and auditors, while providing the creation of thousands of new jobs in a few years.
A closer inspection, however, shows that mosques are not particularly energy-intensive buildings. Thus, why the government is pointing on them for its energy conversion plan? Because mosques are first places for social gatherings and youth training. Places that could become examples, models to be imitated for private homes, businesses and the future of the country. It‘s no accident that in the project imams and mourchidates (female clerics) have been involved in it.
The Morocco’s choice goes in parallel with the last encyclical letter focused on a greater attention to the world around us. Last year, Islam had already taken a position on planet’s defense issues at the International Islamic Climate Change Symposium ratifying the Islamic Declaration on Climate Change: a heartfelt appeal to the commitment against global warming.