We've already heard about a solar-powered mosque in Turkey and a wind-powered one in Germany. Now, according to reports on a website called Eden Keeper, the government of Jordan is putting its weight behind a plan to solarize the country's 6,000 mosques.
Billed as a cooperation between Jordan's Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources and its Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs, the project will initially see some 120 mosques receive funding for solar power systems, with installation starting this year, but the eventual plan is apparently to install solar on all of Jordan's mosques.
There are many reasons why this is very, very cool. Just like when a church goes solar, or when the World Council of Churches divests from fossil fuels, the immense symbolism and cultural influence of religious authorities can be used to set the tone for how we think about energy and the world around us. Indeed, the push for solar mosques coincided with a campaign to promote solar on residential rooftops too.
Of course there is also something else cool about Jordan's solar powered mosques: They are used. And they are used a lot.
With five regular prayer times a day, mosques are busy spaces with whopping energy bills. According to Aisha Abdelhamid of Eden Keeper, Jordan imports most of its energy at very high prices. If these spaces can use solar power to lessen their impact, the cumulative impact should contribute to a lower demand on the country's strained electricity grid.
We look forward to seeing this scheme roll out.