Floods, hurricanes, and earthquakes have repeatedly spelled disaster for Haiti, taking their toll on the island’s infrastructure to the extent only one in three households are connected to the grid. In rural areas the figure falls to 5%.
The government of Haiti and the World Bank have launched a $17 million Off-Grid Electricity Fund to increase energy access for Haitians. The plan is that, over 10 years, more than 200,000 households will get electricity as a result of the fund’s investments.
The fund will be supplemented over time, said Bamboo Capital Partners, which will manage the facility.
Funding for the financial instrument comes from the global Clean Technology Fund (CTF) and the Scaling up Renewable Energy Program (SREP), hinting electricity access will be attained to a significant degree through PV and other renewable energy sources.
“Access to clean and modern energy [for] all Haitians, particularly those living in a remote area with no experience of electricity, is one of the main objectives of the government,” said Nicolas Allien, SREP and CTF project coordinator at the energy department of the Ministry of Public Works, Transportation and Communications of Haiti. “The government also understands that access to sustainable financing is a major constraint to privately led initiatives aiming at contributing to achieving this objective.”
Bamboo Capital Partners said it has been mandated to invest either debt or equity in companies that provide renewable off-grid energy access solutions ranging from mini-grids to pay-as-you-go solar products.
“Energy access is one of the most significant challenges facing the world today, with 1.1 billion people still without access to a reliable energy source,” said Jean-Philippe de Schrevel, founder and managing partner of Bamboo. “This issue is particularly acute in Haiti, where the majority of the population still does not have access to electricity. The OGEF [Off-Grid Electricity Fund] was launched to solve this problem by investing in companies that can provide Haitian households with clean, reliable and decentralized sources of energy and leapfrog the need for costly infrastructure in the process.”
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