alternative energy


AIDG Creates Contest to Promote Biofuels in Northern Haiti

  • Posted on: 17 February 2009
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

The Appropriate Infrastructure Development Group (AIDG) has released a "Call for Applications" for its first business plan competition in Haiti, Konkou Biznis Ayiti. The contest's theme is the commercialization of biogas in Northern Haiti.  The contest winner will receive up to $50,000 in financial support from AIDG, and training on both biogas sytems and enteprise management.  The contest deadline is March 6th, 2009.  Applicants must be Haitian citizens.  The offical press release is copied below.

The Haiti Jatropha Corner (10/13/2008)

  • Posted on: 13 October 2008
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

We frequently receive inquiries concerning the use of Jatropha as a biofuel in Haiti.  So far, cultivation has been limited to a handfull of pilot projects. This blog lists these organizations and summarizes several recent articles on the subject.  A previous blog on biodiesel resulted in over 225 comments from people throughout the world interested in Jatropha. If you are interested specifically in jatropha cultivation in Haiti, please post a comment describing your interests.  In that way, this blog can become a conversation about tapping the potential of Jatropha for Haiti.

Could Wind Power Work In Haiti?

  • Posted on: 11 October 2008
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

The Haiti Support Group sent in an interesting article about the Windbelt, an innovative wind harvesting technology. The device was  invented by Shawn Frayne who was inspired while working in Haiti's Petit Anse.  Miniature  versions are used for powering small devices while larger models could potentially be used as a community energy source in rural areas.  You can learn more by visiting the Humdinger website and its frequently asked question section.  Inquiries can be directed to

Trash or Treasure? Turning Waste to Energy in Haiti

  • Posted on: 19 August 2008
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Haiti is a beautiful country but it would certainly be more so if there were a functional waste management system. What if waste, rather than winding up in the street, ocean, or a landfill could be converted into energy?  Port au Prince would become a very clean city in short order.  The New York Times carried an article stating that virtually any material containing hydrogen, carbon and oxygen could potentially be converted into fuel.  This include plastics, construction debris, forest and lawn trimmings, wood chips, wheat straw, and agricultural waste. This approach could someday help Haiti meet its energy needs without being at the mercy of oil.

Solar Energy for Haiti Revisited

  • Posted on: 17 August 2008
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Denise Green, a Haitian friend and colleague, wrote a blog in November 2007 urging Haiti to go solar.  Over the past year, there has been a tremendous increase in coverage of solar energy.  With new interest, developments, and possibilities solar energy could make a real difference in countries such as Haiti where oil fluctuations are felt acutely.   Haiti is predictably hot and sunny but apart from traffic lights and a handful of schools and homes, it is not widespread.  This could change.  Perhaps Haiti can learn from the experiences of other countries.

Algae Can Be a Biofuel - But Could It Work in Haiti?

  • Posted on: 9 May 2008
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

I am neither an agronomist or an energy specialist.  But I always have my eyes open for new innovations which could help Haiti achieve either food security or energy independence.  Recently, I received an email from The National Algae Association (NAA) annoucing that it would be bringing together Algae oil production companies, algae researchers and "algaeprenuers" together for a conference on June 17th in Woodlands, Texas.  The private sector seems to think algae has potential as a biofuel - Chevron, Honeywell, and Boeing all have some involvement in algae businesses.   But is it feasible in Haiti? 

Haiti Biofuels Update (4/19/2008)

  • Posted on: 19 April 2008
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

With the Prime Minister of Haiti having been voted out as a result of the recent food riots, expect biofuels to get put on the backburner for a while – at least as far as the government is concerned.   The new Prime Minister will need to assemble a new Cabinet and we hope that the Ministers of Finance, Agriculture, and Energy will all take a close look at the potential of biofuels.  In the meantime, the non-governmental organizations keep working away.  A successful war on poverty in Haiti must be fought on different fronts at the same time, chief of which are food security and energy independence.

Haitian Senator Thanks Cuba for Cooperation on Renewable Energy

  • Posted on: 30 March 2008
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Haitiwebs recently ran an announcement by Maxime Roumer, Senator of the Grande Anse Region, thanking Cuba for its cooperation in promoting the use of renewable energy in Haiti. The Cuban Society for the Promotion of Renewable Energy Sources and Envrionmental Respect, CubaSolar, and the Grande Anse Assocation have formed a partnership to bring renewable energy options to the Grande Anse region.

Building Peace In Haiti by Promoting Biofuels

  • Posted on: 16 March 2008
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

A colleague sent me a transcript of Congressional testimony by Dr. Johanna Mendelson Forman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies here in Washington DC.  The testimony gives an overview of how a biofuel economy could reduce poverty, promote energy independence, and ultimately contribute to stability in Haiti.  A transcript is attached to the blog.