The World Bank has approved two grants of US$35 million in total to improve access to electricity for more than two million Haitians, and to scale-up investments in renewable energy.

The bank noted that more than five million people could be reached through solar PV, adding that only one in three Haitians has access to electricity and access is limited in rural areas.

Anabela Abreu, World Bank’s country director for Haiti, said: “Haiti has significant untapped sources of renewable energy. The country is taking an important step in creating the enabling environment for private investors and in boosting access to electricity. The World Bank Group will continue to support the country in providing sustainable renewable energy to increase access for families, businesses and community services in underserved areas, diversify its energy mix, and reduce electricity cost.”

The World Bank noted potential in multiple renwable energy sources such as solar, hydropower, wind and biomass, as well as off-grid electrification. As part of the grants, two project have been launched: ‘Renewable Energy For All’ and ‘Haiti Modern Energy Services for All’.

These will improve the environment for private investment in clean energy, expand access for rural households through leveraged investments in micro and mini-grids, and finance private operators, NGOs and Community Organizations to provide solar lanterns, and individual and home-based solar systems.

Both projects will be implemented by the energy cell of the Ministry of Public Works, Transport and Communications (MTPTC).

Both grants are from the Climate Investment Fund (CIF).

A Gogla report on the off-grid solar market recently revealed that there has been a 7% drop in off-grid solar and home system product sales worldwide yet the market remains “buoyant”.

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