Haiti Electrification Project
We just came back from Haiti in March after completing research on rural electrification. The study was supported by the United Nations Environmental Program and their goal was to evaluated the social and economic impacts of off-grid renewable energy solutions. Our Haiti Rural Electrification Study (report coming soon!) focused on how everyday life changes for rural Haitians when a small amount of solar electricity becomes available to them for the first time.
The off-grid solution we evaluated was implemented by Sirona Cares Foundation’s whose goal is to build sustainable communities by placing the power to create, use and sell energy into the hands of the world’s poorest people. Since 2010, Sirona has been supplying rural villages with a solar unit called a Sunblazer, which collects solar energy to create electricity that charges battery packs that residents can then carry back to their homes for lighting and cell phone charging.
Sirona’s mission is bring solar electricity to homes not reached by government utilities. Thus far, Sirona has implemented systems in 14 Haitian villages, and will install 30 more stations that service 3,100 people in 2014. Sirona’s goal of providing electricity to 1 million rural Haitians by 2020.
We evaluated quality of life indicators such as education, health, economics, environment, and leisure and social relations. Our goal was to better understand how this change is experienced by rural Haitians and uncover the spectrum of intended and unintended outcomes. We will keep you updated on this project as it progresses, and also post the report here once it is completed!