As global oil prices continue to drastically fluctuate up and down over the years, the Kingdom of Jordan has announced that all of their mosques will soon run on solar energy, in an attempt to save money and promote sustainable development.

Image via Columbia University.

Jordan is a country almost devoid of natural resources – most of their land is completely barren. The Jordanian economy is beset by insufficient supplies of water, oil and other resources, and to make things even worse, they import 96% of the energy they use. Given their rough circumstances, I feel that this is definitely a good approach.

Ahmad Abu Saa, of the Renewable Energy Department at the ministry stated “that photovoltaic solar systems for power generation will be installed at the Kingdom’s mosques under a project to be implemented in the course of this year.” The project will start by covering 120 mosques and tenders will be soon floated to install such systems at other mosques across the country, he added. It may not seem like much, but mosques actually use a lot of energy.

“Mosques use large amounts of electricity and the project will help to significantly reduce their electricity bills as around 300 days in the year are sunny,” Abu Saa noted. The funding is a pioneering move in the Middle East, and will hopefully pave the way for other countries. “Based on the funds that we secure, we will go ahead with the project. The more finance we get the faster the project will be implemented. Some of the mosques will get such systems this year,” the energy official added.

Jordan seems to take a leading spot in the Middle East in terms of sustainable development. Resources have set a target to obtain 10% of energy from renewable resources by 2020. As of November 2014 Jordan had 10MW of installed capacity from renewable energy, and had over 15 renewable energy power plants in progress to be completed by the end of 2015, raising the installed capacity to 500MW, representing 14% of the overall installed capacity.

Jordan is a leading player in the Middle East in terms of renewable energy; here we see Seawater Greenhouses. Seawater Greenhouses use solar power to convert salt water into fresh water, which is then used to grow fresh vegetables and algae (to absorb CO2).

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