As per the 2021 data, Haiti's electricity consumption totals just under 10 watts per person, which is significantly lower than the global average of 412 watts per person. The large majority of this electricity, roughly 8.6 watts per person, is generated using fossil fuels, suggesting a high carbon footprint for Haiti's electricity sector. Low-carbon electricity generation accounts for about 1.3 watts per person, entirely sourced from hydropower. In comparison to global standards, this represents a considerable scope for improvement in terms of adopting cleaner energy sources. Lack of sufficient electricity generation can hamper development efforts, limit economic growth, and negatively impact quality of life for citizens. Haiti neither imports nor exports electricity, placing an additional strain on domestic energy resources.
Looking ahead, Haiti can improve its energy profile by following the lead of other nations that have successfully integrated robust low-carbon energy systems. Uruguay, for example, generates 160 watts per person from wind energy and could serve as an inspiration for Haiti given its comparable size and geographic characteristics. Similarly, countries like Australia and Chile have harnessed solar energy to generate 147 and 85 watts per person, respectively. Both these countries have similar tropical climates, suggesting potential viability of solar energy development in Haiti. Furthermore, considering Haiti's extensive river system, emulating successful hydropower peer models could be beneficial. It is however prudent to mention that infrastructure, financing, and policy frameworks significantly influence the success of such endeavors.
Historical data suggests that Haiti's efforts in the domain of low-carbon energy have been concentrated primarily on hydropower. The country reported its first nominal advance in this field in 1972, with an uptick of 0.1 TWh. Throughout the 1980s, Haiti continued to incrementally expand its hydroelectric capacity, but the forward momentum waned in the following decade with fluctuations being observed on a year-to-year basis. Between 2007 and 2020, the nation's hydropower generation experienced slight dips and recoveries. The substantial lack of consistent growth in this area underscores an urgent need for the country to formulate and implement strategies geared towards improving its low-carbon electricity share with variety in clean energy sources. It is evident that forging a path towards clean, sustainable, and sufficient electricity generation in Haiti will require invigorated efforts on several fronts.