Revealed: Details of Morocco's 600-mosque overhaul

Morocco, the host of the 2016 COP22 summit, is working with German government departments on a $5.58m refurbishment plan for 600 mosques based on 'energy-saving' contracts

Mosques in Morocco will be refurbished in collaboration with departments from the German government. [Image: Flickr/tadd_debbie]
Mosques in Morocco will be refurbished in collaboration with departments from the German government. [Image: Flickr/tadd_debbie]

Up to 600 mosques in Morocco will be refurbished based on 'energy-saving' contracts in partnership with departments from the German government. 

The project forms part of Morocco's aims to generate employment, especially with regards sustainability as the country prepares to host the COP22 summit this November. 

According to a statement released by Germany's Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the programme will support Morocco "in modernising the energy use of its mosques".

Technology expected to be used for the project includes LED lighting, photovoltaic systems, and solar water heaters.

The statement continued: "The idea is to use mosques as a starting point for the diffusion of these technologies, hereby creating a market for private services in the field of energy efficiency that could afterwards be enlarged towards other public buildings in sectors such as education or health.

"With such market development[s], the government [of Morocco] aims to boost the creation of green jobs." 

The refurbishment and sustainability model implemented for the mosques will be "transferred to two further public sectors", BMZ has confirmed.

The following pages outline the intricacies of Morocco's programme to refurbish its mosques. 


Who is involved? 

BMZ's statement lists Morocco's Ministry of Energy, Mines, Water and Environment as the programme's lead executing agency.

Supporting partners include the country's Ministry of Islamic Affairs, National Agency for the Development of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, and state energy investment company Société d’Investissements Énergétiques.

The project's term is January 2015 to March 2019, at a total cost of $5.58m (EUR5m).


Contract terms

Under the 'energy-saving' contract model, Moroccan companies will bear the financial and technical risks of the installations.

In the programme's first phase, at least 600 mosques across Morocco will be equipped with LED lighting, photovoltaic systems, and solar water heaters.

UK daily Guardian reported that the Moroccan ministry of Islamic affairs is "underwriting" the contract, and will pay up to "70% of the initial investment costs in a partnership with the German government". 

BMZ said in its statement that this contractual framework means service providers are paid from the savings they achieve.



Education and training will form a key component of the programme between Morocco and Germany. 

"It will be necessary to train Moroccan companies and their employees," BMZ's report stated.

"Indeed, demand for services in this area remains low, and only a few local companies provide them, often with a workforce that lacks the skills to plan, install and maintain plants appropriately.

"The project also aims to raise awareness for efficient energy and renewable energy among decision makers, multipliers – such as imams and teachers in mosques, as well as the broad public." 

Training modules will also be offered on management and marketing skills so local companies can boost the national uptake of sustainable technologies, BMZ confirmed. 

These training sessions are also expected to aid local companies as they perform installation and maintenance works on public buildings. 



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