Green mosques

Project description

Title: Creating jobs by improving energy efficiency (EE) and using renewable energies (RE) in mosques
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Morocco
Lead executing agency: Ministère de l’'Energie, des Mines, de l’Eau et de l’Environnement (MEMEE)
Overall term: 2015 to 2019

Marocco, Green mosques. Moschee Moulay Yazid. (Foto Adnane Azizi) © GIZ


Morocco accords top priority to expanding renewable energies and promoting the use of energy-efficient technologies. The potential for business and employment in these areas has not yet been fully harnessed. Many decision-makers, potential clients and citizens are unaware of the benefits of renewable energies and the existing scope for saving energy. Demand for such services has therefore been low up until now. Specialists are also in many cases not sufficiently skilled.

With its Green Mosques Programme, the Moroccan Government is seeking to encourage wider use of energy-efficient technologies. The programme was launched in 2014 by the Ministry of Energy, Mines, Water and Environment (MEMEE) and the Ministry of Habous and Islamic Affairs (MHAI) in cooperation with the state energy investment company (SIE) and the National Agency for the Development of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (AMEE). It has been supported by GIZ on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) since the beginning of 2015.


Moroccan businesses benefit from new market opportunities. More jobs are available for specialists. The population is aware of the benefits of energy efficiency and renewable energies.

Green mosques, Morocco. Clerics discuss arguments for protecting the environment. (Photo Noëlie Vegas) © GIZ


The project is designed to make a sustainable contribution to Morocco’s energy transition and to promote climate change mitigation and adaptation. It is taking a three-pronged approach:

  1. Reducing energy consumption in mosques and other public buildings
    Working on the basis of energy performance contracts, Moroccan companies set out to modernise energy efficiency in buildings. Their earnings come from the energy savings that they achieve, which the building managers pay them for an agreed period. The companies thus bear the financial and technical risk of carrying out the measures, but at the same time develop new business opportunities. Modernisation of the energy efficiency in mosques mainly involves installing photovoltaic and solar thermal systems and fitting LED lights.
  2. Raising public awareness
    In awareness workshops on Islam and energy efficiency, imams and mourchidates (female clerics) are informed about possibilities for saving energy and using renewable energies. The project has also developed a public awareness campaign.
  3. Creating new job opportunities
    More market opportunities for companies are being opened up and their competitiveness is being improved, thereby generating new jobs. Jobseekers are being made more employable to improve their skills for existing and newly created jobs. In particular, new staff will be needed to audit public buildings, maintain installations and monitor energy savings.

The project is part of a special initiative designed to stabilise and promote development in North Africa and the Middle East run by BMZ. Through the projects that make up this special initiative, BMZ is helping to open up economic and social prospects for people in the region. Within this context, an additional sum of more than 300 million euros has been earmarked for projects carried out by development cooperation organisations in the period from 2014 to 2021. The thematic focus is on youth and employment promotion, economic stabilisation, democracy and stabilising neighbouring countries in crisis situations.


The contract for modernising the energy efficiency of the first 100 mosques was awarded to a consortium of companies following a public tender. The consortium guarantees energy savings of 40 per cent over the contract term of five years. In pilot projects, the two largest mosques in Marrakech (Moulay Yazid and Koutoubia) and a mosque in the rural locality of Tadmamt have been fitted with LED lighting, and photovoltaic and solar thermal systems have been installed.

Almost 400 imams, mourchidates and officials in the Ministry of Habous and Islamic Affairs (including 94 women) have taken part in the project’s awareness workshops. The participatory process has led to the development of a guideline containing religious arguments for energy efficiency and increased use of renewable energies. The Ministry will distribute this to all of Morocco’s imams and mourchidates in 2017.

Marocco, Green mosques. Construction workers. (Foto Oussama Benbila) © GIZ

With the intensive participation of regional actors in the consultation process, the project has been able to carry out various employment promotion activities in four regions of Morocco. University graduates and staff from engineering firms have been trained to carry out energy audits and subsequently assisted in their search for employment. In a pilot measure in Marrakech, 15 young jobseekers have been trained to develop and market energy-saving projects. The project has so far created 117 new jobs and improved the employability of more than 250 individuals.