When a nuclear plant was proposed for the Turkish village of Buyukeceli, the residents decided to demonstrate their resistance not through protest and petitions but by highlighting the viability of renewable energy. Using the support of Greenpeace, they decided to show the power of solar energy and installed photovoltaic panels on the local mosque.
Whilst this may sound like a new and novel concept, back in July Green Prophet revealed plans for Europe’s first completely eco-friendly Mosque in the English city of Cambridge.
Using skylights to limited the need for light bulbs, energy-efficient technologies and a green-roof, the project hoped to minimize it’s carbon footprint and also become the first ‘Eco-Mosque’ in Europe. Well, the idea spread far and wide since then there has been the announcements that the controversial ‘Ground-Zero Mosque’ would be green, accolades for Green mosque designs and now this Turkish Solar Mosque.
Fighting For Clean Energy And Green Jobs
The residents of the Turkish village initially wanted to install the solar panels on a local school but when they were denied government permission the mosque became the perfect solution. Plans for a nuclear plant have been on the cards for the village for the last 37 years and has been resisted widely due to risks involved in nuclear energy. Greenpeace, which provided the panels and set it up in 10 ten days, has also been a long time critic of nuclear energy.
Power from the panels will be able to supply enough electricity for the entire needs of the mosque. In fact, the mosque will transfer energy to the grid although there are no regulations in place to allow the mosque to earn money from the energy it supplies. Greenpeace Mediterranean Project Coordinator Alidost Numan said to Hürriyet News: “We want to call attention to the fact that it is possible to protect nature and increase job opportunities by using clean energy.” Numan added that if the government provided incentives for photovoltaic systems instead of building the nuclear plant, a total of 120,000 brand new, clean and qualified jobs would be created.
Putting Faith in Solar Power
Turkey is a rich country in terms of sunlight; its solar potential is high especially in southern provinces. Green Prophet blogger Maurice Picow explained in a blog in 2009 that although foreign suppliers have noted Turkey’s real “business potential,” solar energy has been slow going in Turkey due to the high cost of the solar panels and other equipment. Even so, the Turkish company Solimpeks Solar Energy Corp., recently announced a hybrid solar system which produces both electricity and hot water which could mark a shift towards more solar energy uptake.
As I’ve mentioned before, eco-Mosques may seem like a modern invention but they are actually taking Muslims back to the simpler and ecologically sound construction of the first mosque built for the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). At the time mud bricks were used for the walls, a palm trunk for the minibar as well as the pillars and waste was minimal- a humble reminder of the mosque’s true green roots.
:: Image via Greenpeace.
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