Public parks, walkways, beachfronts and gardens in Bahrain may soon use solar energy to light up after dark in a bid to make the country greener and less dependent on traditional power sources.

The Northern Municipal Council has unanimously approved a proposal by its vice-chairwoman Zaina Jassim to introduce the move in all its municipal facilities in the Northern Governorate.

Municipalities Affairs and Agriculture Minister Wael Al Mubarak will make a final decision and he may feel enlightened enough, if convinced, to roll out the recommendation across the kingdom.

“Bahrain is a global pioneer when it comes to sustainable development and environment-friendly approaches and having public parks, walkways and gardens lit by solar energy is another step in that direction,” Ms Jassim explained in her presentation during the council’s meeting at its headquarters in Budaiya.

“This move could be expanded to include powering up all facilities as things progress,” she added. “The solar power move would reduce reliance on the national electricity grid by up to 15 per cent within each municipal facility, in its first phase, as explained to us by experts when we discussed the initiative with them.”

She is hoping the government could cover the cost of providing solar panels as they became more efficient and less expensive.

The minister has the power to start the initiative with the Northern Governorate as it was the first to ask, should the move be given the green light.

Once up and running, energy cost savings could be directed to constructing new facilities, buying more solar-power equipment and speeding up its nationwide implementation, Ms Jassim said.

“There are experimental sites in Bahrain using solar energy and we can see with our own eyes that it is serving the purpose. That is why we would welcome solar power as the source of energy across all our parks, seafronts, walkways and gardens,” she added.

The GDN earlier reported that the ministry had been experimenting with the use of solar power across a variety of facilities and its impact and cost effectiveness is under study.

“We have installed solar-powered LED lamps in Jid Ali Garden, in Shaikh Salman Square in Saar and on the Ma’ameer coastline,” said Municipal Under-Secretary Shaikh Mohammed bin Ahmed Al Khalifa.

Both the Southern and Northern Municipalities have started to use solar energy at some gardens and beachfronts, including a playground, walkway, the volleyball stadium in A’ali and a playground in Hamad Town.


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