Haiti is slowly recovering from the 2010 earthquake by rebuilding the country’s economy and infrastructure. Within this process, improving access to energy has a central role. In terms of utility-scale power generation, grants and projects have focused on restructuring Haiti’s national power company, Electricité d’Haiti (EDH). On the small-scale side, microgrid projects have begun to appear, with the first three starting operations in 2015.
Haiti has around 311MW of installed generating capacity, with the bulk (80%) derived from fossil-fuelled plants. The remaining 20% comes from the Péligre hydro plant, which is undergoing restoration, and other small hydro plants. EDH owns 44% of generation capacity in Haiti and is responsible for transmission and more than 1,500 km of distribution lines on the island. Today, given infrastructure limitations, EDH is able to power Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, and a few cities nearby, but only intermittently. Meanwhile, use of diesel generators, kerosene lamps and other forms of off-grid technologies is commonplace. EDH has received grants from the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and other international organisations to help the company improve its infrastructure.
All of this has created opportunities for distributed clean energy generation solutions and the implementation of microgrids, especially in areas challenging for EDH to reach. With the help of a United States Agency for International Development (USAID) grant, Haiti’s first microgrid started operation in the south of the country in 2015, providing solar power to around 450 families in the city of Les Anglais. The system relies on batteries to ensure reliability and smart meters for system stability and to facilitate pre-pay capability for customers.
Since 2015, two other microgrids have started providing electricity and are projected to serve 1,700 customers. One, financed by IDB, the United Nations Environment Programme and USAID, links the towns of Coteaux, Port-a-Piment and Roche-a-Bateau and will be managed by a newly-created electrical cooperative. The other one, in Feyo Bien, will be supported by IDB. Both microgrids are powered by hybrid PV-diesel generators.
While Haiti does not have specific legislation mandating microgrids, private companies are seeking to expand distributed generation on the island. Additionally, the United Nations’ Sustainable Energy for All programme has undertaken to install another 80 such projects in Haiti and sell 1.5m clean energy products by 2020. Companies on the island are providing small lighting and energy systems powered by solar, biomass and mini-hydro.
On 30 September 2015, Haiti submitted its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) to the United Nations, in which it committed unconditionally to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 5% below the business as usual (BAU) scenario by 2030. This unconditional target represents a total emission reduction of 10MtCO2e by 2030. The country also committed to a further reduction of GHG emissions by 26% below the BAU scenario by 2030 conditional upon international support. This represents a total reduction of 35.24MtCO2e by 2030.
Haiti scored 0.78 in Climatescope 2016, an increase of 0.14 on the previous year. It ranked 49th overall, representing a drop of four compared with 2015. The country’s best performance was on Clean Energy Investment and Climate Financing Parameter II.
Haiti’s score on Enabling Framework Parameter I increased to 1.02 from 0.89, but it declined four places to 43rd position. The country’s relatively well-developed off-grid energy sector contrasts with its almost total lack of clean energy policies.
Its score on Parameter II increased and it climbed one place to 44th. While there is no record of any investment in the sector between 2010 and 2015, the average cost of debt (at 12.92%) offered a degree of support.
On Low-Carbon Business & Clean Energy Value Chains Parameter III, the country scored 1.32 (unchanged from 2015) and was placed 36th. The handful of distributed clean energy companies and service providers were the only bright spots in this category.
On Greenhouse Gas Management Activities Parameter IV, Haiti was just two from the bottom in 56th place, having minimal carbon offsetting activity and policies.
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