The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) will support a US$3 million technical cooperation project to help the government of Haiti test different renewable energy solutions with the goal of expanding rural electrification.

Haiti has the lowest level of electrification in the Americas. In the countryside, more than 70% of the population lacks access to electricity. The new project will finance feasibility studies and pilot projects to test models based on solar energy, sustainable biomass and hybrid approaches, combining more efficient uses of fossil fuels with renewable energy sources.

The technical cooperation will also fund studies to determine the feasibility of introducing natural gas in Haiti, which relies heavily on imports of more expensive and polluting fossil fuels to generate electricity.

In addition, the project will assist the Haitian government in establishing an office for rural electrification and in developing regulations to promote the use of cleaner energy resources and energy efficiency for rural electrification.

“These studies will shed light on significant knowledge gaps. Our goal is to give the Haitian government a clear picture of what it will need to carry out a successful rural electrification plan using renewable energy sources,” said the project’s team leader, IDB energy senior specialist Christiaan Gischler.

The resources for this technical cooperation will come from the Haiti Reconstruction Fund ($2 million), the IDB’s Sustainable Energy and Climate Change Initiative ($500,000) and the IDB-administered Korea Fund for Technology and Innovation ($500,000).

Visit www.iadb.org.