Jorge Chapa

Solar Energy Powering Reconstruction Efforts in Haiti

by , 01/21/10

sustainable design, green design, haitian earthquake, green gadgets, renewable energy, design for disaster, humanitarian design, emergency relief

The humanitarian emergency in Haiti has resulted in a complete loss of the country’s power infrastructure. To bring it back, a host of companies and aid agencies are using the most plentiful resource on the planet to begin powering one of the biggest reconstruction efforts the world has ever seen: Solar power.

sustainable design, green design, haitian earthquake, green gadgets, renewable energy, design for disaster, humanitarian design, emergency relief

Think about it for a second. Right now, many of our lives are completely powered by electricity. Most of the basic services we take for granted use a significant amount of electricity to work. No power means no water, no purification, no phones, and no cooking. And for a recently devastated country like Haiti and its inhabitants, electricity can literally mean the difference between life or death.

Everything from solar powered lights to solar powered ovens are being deployed to the country. Sun Ovens International is attempting to get hundreds of its ovens to Port-au-Prince, while solar panel manufacturer Sol is sending solar street lamps that will be used in hospitals to treat the injured at night. In Croix-des-Bouquets, a solar installation from Worldwater and Solar Technologies is now providing power to a school working as an aid center.

Solarworld is donating solar panels to power 10 water purification systems – enough to clean water for 175,000 people and significantly cut down on the spread of water-borne illnesses so prevalent after a major disaster. A Red Cross aid station is using a solar-powered mobile water purification system to clean an additional 30,000 gallons of water. Even solar-powered mobiles by Digicel are being sent to the region, so that a measure of communications can be restored.

Why solar? Diesel is expensive and in short supply. Sunshine however, is plentiful in Haiti. Score one for solar!

By the way, if you are considering donating to the relief effort there are plenty of charities and non-profits that could use your help – we’re particularly supportive of the Red Cross and Architecture for Humanity. What matters though, is to give if you can.

Via MSNBC and CNET

Lead photo by The Haitian Project

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6 Comments

  1. adricom April 29, 2011 at 6:31 am

    Solar Lighting in Haiti- ADRICOM (Agency for Development and Innovation of Commercial Resources) supports foreign enterprises in exploring investment opportunities in Special Markets.

  2. CivitasEnergy September 29, 2010 at 10:47 am

    Wow, that is great the way so many companies are willing to help out!

    I understand it is still very early in the rebuilding process, but distributed power and water systems are just what Haiti needs to get back on its feet while the infrastructure is rebuilt. I have also heard that attention has been paid to efficiency. Hopefully in due time, Haiti will emerge far stronger than it was before the disaster.

    Keep up the great work.
    http://CivitasEnergy.com

  3. Solar Energy To Help Pa... September 27, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    [...] recent disasters such as the Haiti earthquake and the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, renewable energy has been used to help those in need by powering [...]

  4. ktvelez January 28, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    Hello,
    Thank you for the useful information you hae provided here and the incredible work you are doing in my country.
    We have established an online group devoted to rebuilding Haiti. A subgroup is dedicated to Solar,Wing and Wave power. We would like to speak with you or at least get your insight on how we can not only provide Haiti with an interim solution but a new way of providing the island with green energy. Jobs to manuafacture the panels etc in Haiti itself. Haiti can be a source of green energy production to other caribbean islands.

    Please join us at New Haiti Project / Our group is Called Solar Wind and Wave Power.

    We look forward to working with you.
    Katty (Depeine) Velez
    732-789-9935

  5. markbehnke January 28, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    George, please come over to

    http://newhaitiproject.ning.com/

    We need you!

  6. chicagosolar January 21, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    Hi, My name is George Lobo and a Haitian American. . I own a PV installation company in Chicago. I would like to get involve in the reconstruction of Haiti. If anyone knows how my company can be a part of the reconstruction, please let me know.

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