Haiti - Country Commercial Guide
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Haiti faces significant challenges in generating and distributing energy reliably, and lack of access to affordable and reliable power significantly hinders investment and business development.  The majority of electricity is produced using imported fossil fuels. The government is exploring various avenues to lower costs and promote more efficient generation, distribution, and usage of electricity.  Prospects for renewables such as solar, wind, small hydropower, and biomass systems – as well as digital solutions, such as smart grid technologies – make Haiti a potential energy market opportunity, but these systems have not yet been developed for large-scale use. 

While an older hydropower plant is providing renewable energy, the poorest Haitians rely on biomass such as charcoal and wood as their main source of energy for light and cooking.  The annual consumption of wood products was estimated at 4 million metric tons (MT), of which about one-third is transformed into charcoal to meet the cooking fuel needs of urban consumers.  Wood and charcoal usage contribute to deforestation and pollution problems. 

The government has faced consistent problems maintaining equipment and generating and distributing power throughout the country. Even for those with access to electricity, reliability is inconsistent, leading many businesses and larger households to install diesel generators.  The lack of access to affordable and reliable power hinders investment, constrains the development of productive businesses, and degrades living standards for residential customers.  Multinational businesses have also expressed dissatisfaction at the expensive energy rates in the commercial and industrial sectors, compared to other countries in the Caribbean and Latin America.

Grid instability and a lack of available electricity continued to be a problem in 2022, when EDH (Electricite d’Haiti the national electric utility) made public that it was only able to supply 4 to 6 hours of electricity a day to its customers in the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area and was doing a rotation for distribution.  Haiti has an installed capacity of 250 to 400 Megawatts (MW) but only 60 percent of the installed capacity is reliable, as many generation units and grid elements need rehabilitation and repair work.  The distribution network has not been rehabilitated for more than 40 years.  Total unmet demand for residential and commercial electricity in the country is estimated at 550MW per day.  Only one third of the population has access to electricity, and of those with access, many illegally siphon from the grid and are therefore not billed and/or do not pay

 On average consumption is 21 Kilowatts (kW) per person annually, although the Ministry of Public Works estimates that consumption might be higher if illegal connections were included.  Poor billing practices and unpaid invoices, including from government offices, also result in consistent shortfalls for the company, which operates at a loss.  EDH’s latest recovery rate is estimated at 50 percent, with $163 million (22 billion gourdes) of accumulated debt over a 10-year period with its customers.  According to information provided in 2021 from the Commercial Directorate of EDH, the government subsidizes the utility with approximately $250 million annually. 

To resolve these issues, the former Presidential administration of Jovenel Moise prioritized investments in the energy sector to increase EDH’s production capacity.  Among other measures, EDH announced it will replace post-paid meters with prepaid mode meters as part of the company’s new commercial strategy, aiming at rectifying the financial situation of this institution in order to better meet the demand of its customers.  In July 2020, former President Moise announced that the government would add 190 MW of generating capacity, including 130MW of solar projects and 60MW of thermal power facilities.  The largest planned project was a 55MW (60MW installed) fuel-flexible plant in Port-au-Prince.  General Electric has worked on the installation of the 60MW power plant, located in Carrefour, which represents an investment of $57 million.  Delays and work stoppages due to COVID-19 and insecurity in the area have complicated operations and maintenance throughout 2022 and 2023.  The procurement of fuel to reliably supply the turbines is a priority for the Haitian government.  Other potential power generating sites include 10MW facilities planned for both Port-de-Paix and Jacmel and a 5MW array intended for Jeremie.  Grand’Anse and Nippes Departments in the southern region were also target areas for smaller power facilities.  Taiwan also provided the government with a $150 million loan primarily for repairs and upgrades to the metropolitan grids, with $20 million set aside for rural electrification projects as of September 2020.  In addition to production technology, officials are also looking at updating business technology.

At the same time, the government has taken measures that have limited the effectiveness and ability of independent power producers to operate.  In October 2019, the Haitian Council of Ministers issued a resolution instructing the Ministry of Finance to suspend payments to three named independent power producers related to the execution of power purchase agreements between the Government of Haiti and the power producers, and by the end of November 2019, two of those companies were no longer actively operating as independent power producers.  Availability of electricity on the Port-au-Prince metropolitan grid fell by nearly half as a result. 

In April 2023, EDH workers at the Peligre hydroelectric dam started a three-week strike over five months of unpaid salary arrears which led to a Port-au-Prince wide black out. Peligre is critical infrastructure in terms of Port-au-Prince electricity production since E-power, the only other metropolitan electricity producer, is reliant on Peligre’s operations.  The strike ended following a temporary agreement between workers and the government but started again in June for a few weeks.

In September 2023, EDH announced a revision in its tariffication. The kilowatt per hour price is increasing from 9.57 gourdes to 22.30 gourdes for residential area ($0.07 cents to $0.17 cents), 13.67 gourdes to 31.84 gourdes for commercial area ($0.10 cents to $0.23cents) and 13.97 gourdes to 32.41 gourdes for industrial area ($0.10 cents to $0.24 cents).  These increases make electricity rates in Haiti higher than the average in the region. 


EDH’s inability to provide reliable, centrally-supplied power continues to drive demand for power equipment, such as new electrical power systems, generators, inverters, solar panels, and batteries, as well as maintenance for the equipment.  Many middle and upper-income households, as well as individual businesses, utilize a hybrid of solar power systems and fossil fuel (mostly diesel) generators in order to ensure a supply of electricity given the unreliability of the main power grid.  The unreliability of the grid contributes to a turnover of customers of EDH.  According to Haitian dealers’ records, 50 percent of power generators come from the United States.  Other suppliers include Japan, France, China, and South Korea. According to the United Nations COMTRADE database on international trade, the United States exports of electrical, electronic equipment to Haiti totaled US$50.15 Million in 2022.

Haiti’s energy regulator ANARSE launched prequalification rounds to identify potential concessionaires for several regional electricity grids, including production, transmission, and distribution, in late 2020 and 2021.  During 2020, ANARSE also assisted EDH with a procurement tender for the installation and operation of several hundred thousand prepaid smart meters for the metropolitan area and rural areas.  Haiti’s largest electricity grid is the Port-au-Prince metropolitan grid.  Some towns, such as Fort-Liberté in the northeast, have an electricity distribution network, but have been effectively abandoned by the national utility EDH.  Users thus have to rely entirely on small, privately owned generators to meet their electricity demand.

Renewable Energy

Haiti’s relatively underdeveloped electricity grid means it can integrate renewable energy into its energy supply.  According to the World Watch Institute study in 2014, Lake Azuéi in the country has potential that makes it the most attractive wind site in Haiti.

An alternative to the country’s fossil fuel electrification will be the  integration of cleaner renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind energy, which will  reduce the cost of rural electrification.  Solar energy offers interesting prospects in Haiti, by offering energy self-sufficiency to the most isolated cities, in the absence of a power grid.  The country’s location in the tropics gives it very strong solar energy potential.  It is believed solar energy will play a fundamental role in access to electricity over the next 10 to 15 years.  In 2017, the Government of Haiti exempted solar modules and inverters from import duties, although some customs fees still remain.  Solar energy powers agricultural work (irrigation, conservation of agricultural products), hotels, hospitals, schools, commercial endeavors (food storage), and some public lighting in cities and villages.

A 12MW solar plant has been funded by the IDB and USAID.  Once completed in 2023, it will be the largest solar plant in the country and may provide a model for further such development in the future.  The Government of Haiti has received funding from the World Bank to finance the Renewable Energy for All Project.

The National Energy Sector Regulatory Authority launched a call for tenders for the Design, Supply, Installation and Commissioning of a Photovoltaic Solar Power Plant with a storage battery connected to the Jacmel network, with the possibility of Operation and Maintenance for an initial period of two (2) years.  The solar generation capacity of the Solar Power Plant will be 1.2 MWp with a storage capacity of 800 kW / 330 kWh. in the Commune of Jacmel, in the South-East Department and will be connected to the regional electricity network of Jacmel.

Haiti’s 2020 total GHG Emissions (mtCO2e) per the World Bank is 10,267.