Lisa Friedman, E&E reporter, Published: Tuesday, January 13, 2015
Five years after a catastrophic magnitude-7 earthquake rocked Haiti, killing 220,000 people and leaving the capital city of Port au Prince in ruins, clean energy experts say they are cautiously optimistic about progress despite the country’s political turmoil. A recent road map published by the Worldwatch Institute described the Caribbean island nation as being at an energy crossroads. Just a quarter of the country’s 10 million population has access to electricity, the lowest rate in the region, and the vast majority of those who do live in urban areas. Meanwhile, about 85 percent of the country’s electricity generation depends on imported oil. But, it finds, powering the country with 90 percent renewable energy is “a realistic option.” Doing so, the authors argue, can improve Haitians’ access to energy and create a low-carbon model of growth for other small island nations. But the effort won’t be without serious challenges. (…)
Alexander Ochs, director of climate and energy for the Worldwatch Institute, said “bottom-up” energy access work is where the most promise is in Haiti at the moment. “I think people are taking power, the electricity power, into their own hands now,” Ochs said. On a national level, he noted, “policies have not changed much” in Haiti, and said it’s up to the government to change the country’s course.
From a technical standpoint, according to the Worldwatch study, promise for developing an electricity sector based on renewable energy in Haiti abounds. In outlining several scenarios for expanding clean power, researchers conclude that achieving a 90 percent share of renewable energy would call for investing in 120 megawatts of natural gas capacity by 2030 while adding about 1,900 MW of renewables to its existing hydropower capacity. Yet wariness from investors because of political instability and policy confusion remains a major problem. (…)
Publication d’une étude réalisée par le World Watch Institute avec le financement de l’Allemagne sur les grandes potentialités d’Haiti en matière d’énergies renouvelables. Dans une interview exclusive accordee a RFM Mr Ochs qui a contribué à la réalisation de cette etude souhaite que les autorités Haitiennes optent pour les énergies solaire et éolienne en abandonnant l’utilisation du diesel et du mazout trop onéreux
Mr Ochs qui participait à l’Emission Enjeux affirme haut et fort que le pays pourrait économiser des centaines de millions de dollars américains tous les ans grâce aux énergies renouvelables. Le Directeur a l’énergie du World Watch Institute precise que des Investisseurs étrangers sont prêts a participé à la mise en œuvre de ces projets toutefois note Alexander Ochs ils réclament que les conditions legales soient réunies .
Les explications de Alexander Ochs au micro de Rotchild Francois Jr.
Haiti’s electricity sector stands at a crossroads. Haiti depends on imported petroleum for 85% of its electricity generation, diverting 7 percent of its annual gross domestic product to importing fuel. Still, only 25% of the Haitian population has regular access to electricity, bringing barriers to advances in economic opportunity, health, education, and social equality. Yet, according to the Worldwatch Institute’s new Haiti Sustainable Energy Roadmapreport, tremendous opportunities and actionable solutions exist to build an electricity system that is economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable.
The Roadmap is the culmination of years of intensive investigation and analysis into the potential for energy efficiency and renewable energy deployment in Haiti. For example, only 6 square kilometers of solar photovoltaic panels would be able to generate as much electricity as Haiti produced in 2011. The study compares the full economic and societal costs of Haiti’s current electricity sector and its business as usual development to that of alternative pathways and concludes that Haiti will benefit immensely if it relies more heavily on renewable energy sources and less on fossil fuels.
Rapid transition from centralized energy systems based on fossil fuels to those based on a mix of distributed, locally appropriate renewable energy resources is viewed by many as the most effective means of mitigating and adapting to climate change. That’s just the “thin edge of the wedge” with regard to the advantages and benefits societies can realize by spurring development and adoption of distributed energy resources and technologies, however. (…)
An energy-and-development policy paper from the Worldwatch Institute invokes Sen’s conceptualization of “Development as Freedom” as applied to Haiti, the most poverty-stricken nation in a region whose history is characterized largely by general poverty linked to political and economic repression and unsustainable extraction and exploitation of natural resources and ecosystems. In its “Haiti Sustainable Energy Roadmap,” Worldwatch highlights that “tremendous opportunities and actionable solutions exist to build an electricity system that is economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable using the tremendous renewable energy and energy efficiency potentials of the country.” (…)
“There is hardly a place on Earth where the advantages of a distributed electricity system powered by domestic renewable sources are as evident as in Haiti,” Worldwatch Institute Climate and Energy Director Alexander Ochs writes of the study.
See full article [here].
Sustainable Energy for Island Economies:
A High Impact Opportunity of SE4ALL – Vision 20/30
This session, moderated by Nasir Khattak, Climate Institute, presented the global programme “Sustainable Energy for Island Economies,” launched in 2000 and included in 2012 as one of the “high impact opportunities” under the UN Secretary-General’s Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) initiative, with some panelists showcasing projects from their island states.
The Premier Renewable Energy Finance & Investment Event for Latin America & the Caribbean
Renewable Energy Finance Forum – LAC (REFF-LAC), April 24-25, Marriott Biscayne Bay, Miami, FL
Opening Keynote Speaker
Wednesday, April 25, 9:15 AM
Director of Climate and Energy
Sustainable Energy Roadmaps: Guiding the Shift to Domestic Power in Central America and the Caribbean
Worldwide, renewable energy is growing exponentially. Technologies have matured and are widely available, affordable, and reliable. Nevertheless, Central American and the Caribbean countries are far from utilizing their abundant domestic renewable energy potentials while continuing to pay an enormous price for the import of fossil fuels. Sustainable Energy Roadmaps help identify energy development scenarios that are in a country’s best economic, social, and environmental interest.
Recently the Brookings Institution hosted a panel that examined Haiti’s political and humanitarian developments since the January 2010 earthquake. A theme that came up regularly was that of competing priorities such as turbulent elections, a cholera outbreak, a lack of dependable energy supply, and gender-based violence. As the Worldwatch Institute prepares to develop a Low-Carbon Energy Roadmap for Haiti, some have questioned whether limited donor resources should be channeled into something more pressing than assessing and improving the country’s energy infrastructure. Is an energy roadmap really needed right now, or are other matters more important?
The cholera outbreak in Haiti is an urgent matter that deserves all the attention it is currently receiving. However, we must keep in mind that a lack of proper sanitation – due to a lack of electricity – helped cause the recent outbreak. Had the country’s energy infrastructure been more robust and sustainable, basic sanitation and electricity in hospitals might not have been lost and the current epidemic might have been avoided.