The government of Haiti has eliminated custom duties on the imports of PV products.
The new measure is included in the new finance act 2017-2018 that the Caribbean island’s Ministry of Economy and Finance has recently published on its website, and that was approved by the Senate in early September. The law entered into force on September 18, after its publication in the country’s official bulletin.
Tariff exemptions would apply to both PV modules and inverters, as well as other photovoltaic devices such as street lighting systems. Through the exemption, according to local press, the government hopes to increase the generation capacity of isolated regions not connected to the electricity system.
According to the U.S. agency USAID, only a quarter of the country’s population currently has access to electricity, the majority of which (about 80%) is still produced by fossil fuel power plants.
The local power utility Electricité d’Haïti (EDH) currently serves only the metropolitan area of Port-au-Prince and a small number of networks of limited size in other regions of the country. According to a World Bank report, however, the 320 MW under EDH management are not enough to cover the peak demand, estimated at over 400 MW.
The World Bank is currently supporting a hybrid solar-plus-storage project with a generation capacity of 6 MW to 12 MW that is expected to help improve the power supply of isolated EDH networks. The World Bank is also supporting the implementation of a project of distributed generation of renewable sources for isolated communities.