The Scaling-up Renewable Energy in Haiti Plan (SREP) details the Haitian government’s hope for Haiti to become an emerging economy by 2030.
Haiti has one of the lowest electrification rates in the world and the lowest in the Latin America and Caribbean region. Addressing energy poverty in Haiti will require commitment and persistence but it can be achieved by harnessing Haiti’s natural resources.
Peak electricity demand in Haiti hovers at about 500 megawatts (MW) and Haiti has, on average, about 284MW in installed capacity. Only 225 MW is available for end use though because of energy losses related to a crumbling grid infrastructure.
Of all the energy that is generated in Haiti, 85% is derived from petroleum and the remainder is produced from hydropower at Lake Peligre Dam, Haiti’s largest hydropower plant. From Lake Peligre, Haiti generates about 54 MW of renewable energy.
Vast Opportunities for Investors in Haiti
There is the potential to build upon the renewable energy mix in Haiti. The majority of Haiti, but particularly the coastal regions between two major cities with high populations, Gonaives and St. Marc, have some of the highest solar irradiation levels at 8 kWh/m2 /day. The world average of solar irradiance falls between 5 to 7 kWh/m2 /day.
Compared to other regions, solar irradiance in Haiti does not vary significantly between the summer and winter months, making the country a particularly good choice for solar PV installations. In the short-term, one of the best ways to address energy poverty would be through solar energy, particularly as the cost of solar energy decreases.
Our Recommendations for the Haitian Government
With an eye towards long-term development, the government of Haiti must consider ways to solidify a strong foundation for renewable energy investment in the short-term by:
1. Developing an adequate but strong policy framework to establish renewable energy incentives and to reduce Haiti’s risk profile for future investment
2. Setting clear targets for renewable energy deployment by initiating feasibility studies on solar PV technologies
3. Partnering with external organizations in the public, private, and non-profit sectors as well as Diaspora groups to arrange innovative financing solutions for renewable energy deployment
4. Investing in human capital so that there is a pipeline of local renewable energy specialists poised to establish and support renewable energy companies
Positive Outlook for the Power Sector in Haiti
Deploying solar PV is more viable today than at any other time because costs for its installation, operation, and maintenance continue to decrease. Still, with high construction costs and high potential for intermittency, solar energy deployment must be considered as part of a long-term strategy to offer energy access throughout Haiti by 2030.
Latam Energy Advisors provides market research and intelligence for energy project developers in Haiti. We also negotiate energy contracts for companies and municipalities in the country. Contact us today for more information about the energy sector in Haiti.