The World Bank says its board of executive directors has approved two grants totaling US$35 million to improve access to electricity for more than two million Haitians, and to scale-up investments in renewable energy in underserved rural and urban areas.
“Haiti has significant untapped sources of renewable energy,” said Anabela Abreu, World Bank’s country director for Haiti on Thursday. “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,” she added.
The World Bank said renewable energy sources, such as solar, hydropower, wind and biomass, and off grid electrification “have great potential.”
The Washington-based financial institution said over five million people could be reached through solar photovoltaic (PV).
Yet, it lamented that only one in three Haitians has access to electricity, adding that access is very limited in rural areas.
More specifically, the World Bank said the two projects, “Renewable Energy for All” and “Haiti Modern Energy Services for All,” will help improve the environment for private investment in clean energy; and expand access for rural households through leveraged investments in micro and mini-grids, and village level systems.
The bank said the projects will also strengthen the capacity of local institutions and develop awareness of local communities on how to use renewable energy; and finance private operators, non-governmental organizations (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 in French), the World Bank said.