By Omar Obeidat – Dec 16,2015

AMMAN –– Around 400 mosques in the Kingdom are currently generating power from solar energy, Awqaf Ministry Secretary General Abdul Munem Hiyari said Wednesday.

In addition, hundreds of other mosques are also set to switch to solar energy in the near future, Hiyari told The Jordan Times, noting that the solar-powered mosques reduced their electricity bills to almost zero.

A mosque’s electricity bill can range between JD500 to JD1,000 a month, but after installing solar panels mosques pay only JD3 a month as subscription to the power company, he said.

There are 6,200 mosques in Jordan, whose electricity bills stand at over JD6 million a month, the official added.

“The ministry is encouraging mosques across the Kingdom to switch to solar power because it is a priority for the government and the country as a whole,” he said.

Hiyari noted that the ministry contributes to 20 per cent of solar power projects at mosques in a bid to accelerate the adoption of clean energy, and wanted to build a solar-power plant but the plan was suspended due to its high cost, estimated at between JD40 million and JD50 million.

Jordan, which has one of the highest annual daily averages of solar irradiance in the world, with an estimated 330 days of sunshine in the year, has been implementing a strategy to increase renewable energy’s contribution to the overall energy mix to 10 per cent by 2020.

According to official figures, there are several small-scale entities, including households, mosques, schools and small industrial facilities, which already generate electricity using solar energy at a total capacity of 30 megawatts.
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