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HI goes solar in Haiti


To increase its autonomy and reduce its carbon footprint, HI is installing solar panels on its offices in Haiti.

Low-angle view of a metal structure almost entirely covered with solar panels. Trees and blue sky can be seen through the empty spaces.

Débens Dieujuste, HI logistician has installed solar panels on the roof of HI's buildings in Port-au-Prince. | © HI

Located in the West Indies, Haiti is an island that enjoys exceptional sunshine throughout the year. To take advantage of this climate, HI has decided to install solar panels on its buildings to increase its energy self-sufficiency and reduce its use of fossil fuels.

A solution to supply problems

Haiti regularly has difficulties with its energy supply, a situation made worse by the control and violence wielded by gangs in the main districts of the capital. As a result, Haiti's national electricity company is struggling to supply homes and infrastructure, and users are regularly faced with long power cuts that can last up to several weeks.

To cope with this, the electrical installations in the buildings used by HI are connected to generators and batteries that run on fuel. However, fuel supplies are intermittent, which causes real logistical difficulties for the teams.

In addition, the financial cost of maintaining this equipment is very high, not to mention the carbon emissions they help to produce. Installing solar panels is therefore a solution that both reduces HI's carbon footprint and ensures the supply of electricity to its buildings.

Buildings running on solar energy

HI’s teams began by installing fourteen solar panels and batteries on the Port-au-Prince guest house, i.e. the two buildings that house some of the team and staff on temporary assignments. They are now 100% equipped with solar panels, which cover a very large proportion of the infrastructure's electricity needs. The generators are only switched on occasionally, mainly on days when there isn't much sunshine.

The works will continue with the gradual installation of another 24 solar panels on the terraces and roofs of HI's offices in Port-au-Prince. They will be operational by 2024 and will make the programme virtually self-sufficient in energy.

Future projects

In the coming months, HI also plans to equip its employees with individual and portable solar equipment, so that they can telework from home if the security situation requires, and even in the event of a power cut.

In 2024, HI will also be replacing its batteries, which are no longer in their prime. The programme is currently looking for the ideal service provider, capable of recycling them correctly.

GREEN PROJECT: HI is committed to reducing the adverse effects of climate change on the world's vulnerable and marginalised populations. Our organisation prepares communities to cope with climate shocks and stresses and responds to crises amplified by environmental factors. HI takes vulnerability or exclusion factors related to disability, gender and age into account in all its actions, and lobbies for practitioners and politicians to also integrate this approach into their climate work. HI is also committed to reducing its own carbon footprint by adapting and implementing environmentally friendly approaches to its humanitarian action.

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