Towards Energy Access in Haiti (Webinar)

16 January 2014
The Clean Energy Solutions Center, in partnership with the United Nations Foundation’s Energy Access Practitioner Network, hosted this webinar to showcase work underway in Haiti to support energy access using off-grid renewable energy. It explored the energy access situation in Haiti and efforts underway to increase access. Dr. René Jean-Jumeau, Minister Delegate to the Prime Minister, in Charge of Energy Security, Government of Haiti presented on the Haitian government’s electrification efforts and the success of current programs such as "Ban m limyè, Ban m lavi" ("Give me light, give me life"). And, Ms. Allison Archambault (President of EarthSpark International) and Ms. Michelle Lacourciere (CEO of Sirona Haiti and Director of Sirona Cares Foundation) discussed their organizations’ activities to help scale up energy access in Haiti in tandem with the government’s efforts. Participants discussed the rural electrification model in Haiti and how it can be scaled up and applied to other contexts. (webinar transcript)


René Jean-JumeauRené Jean-Jumeau

On 4 July 2012, Mr. Jean-Jumeau was appointed Minister Delegate to the Prime Minister, in charge of Energy Security for Haiti. From 24 October 2011 to 3 July 2012, he was Secretary of State for Energy at the Haitian Ministry of Public Works, Transportation, Communications and Energy, and previously Coordinator of the Energy Sector Management Unit in that same Ministry. He also served as Senior Advisor for matters of Energy to the Minister of Public Works in Port-au-Prince, Haiti and, before that, as Advisor to the Secretary of State for Energy and Telecommunications. With respect to his career in academia, René Jean-Jumeau was Vice President for Academic Affairs at Université Notre Dame d’Haiti of which he was a founding member. He taught as Professor of Electrical Engineering at Université d’Etat d’Haiti and at Université Quiqueya in Port-au-Prince. While at Cornell University, he carried out research in Electrical Power Systems. Dr. Jean-Jumeau is currently a member of the Power Engineering Society of The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). He generally works as a consultant in Electrical Engineering, Energy and Systems Optimization. Dr. René Jean-Jumeau obtained a licence (B.S. degree) in electro-mechanical engineering from The School of Engineering of the State University of Haiti (Université d’Etat d’Haiti –UEH). He also holds a Master’s (M.Sc.) and a Doctorate (Ph.D.) in Electrical Engineering, both from Cornell University, in Ithaca, New York.

Richenda Van LeeuwenRichenda Van Leeuwen

Richenda Van Leeuwen is Executive Director, Energy Access Initiative overseeing the UN Foundation's work on energy access and its engagement with the UN’s Sustainable Energy for All Initiative. She founded and leads UNF’s Energy Access Practitioner Network, a 900-strong global network catalyzing market-led solutions for energy access in developing countries. She joined the UN Foundation in 2010 from Good Energies, a global renewable energy private equity firm where she led its work both on commercial emerging markets transactions and as a founding board member of the Good Energies Foundation, on the application of renewable energy technologies for poverty alleviation in developing countries. Prior to this, she served as the Executive Director of Trickle Up, an international microenterprise development non-profit organization from 2001-2005. A sought-out speaker on energy access, gender equity and poverty issues, she has over 20 years of executive management experience with the UN, private sector and non-profits on several continents, in particular focusing on impact investing for micro- and small and medium sized enterprises as well as post-conflict reconstruction, refugee issues and economic empowerment. She currently serves on the board of SELCO India, a leading renewable energy social enterprise focusing on energy solutions for poor families in India. She gained both her BS and MBA degrees from Durham University, UK.

Allison ArchambaultAllison Archambault

Allison is president of EarthSpark International, a non-profit organization working to eradicate energy poverty through sustainable business models that deliver sustainable energy services. EarthSpark develops supply chains and distribution channels for small-scale clean and efficient energy technologies in Haiti, and it is developing micro-grids in areas underserved by the existing electricity grid. Prior to her work with EarthSpark, Allison founded Fresh Generation, LLC and consulted to clean energy companies, governments, and advocacy groups. She also served as Business Liaison Director for 3TIER, leveraging 3TIER’s resource forecasting and mapping to expand renewable energy siting and integration insights around the world. Allison also led the renewable energy partners program for GridPoint, a leading clean tech company in the smart grid space. She has a background in U.S. grid-tied residential solar and residential demand management and in rural solar electrification in the Caribbean and West Africa. She holds a B.A. in International Relations and Economics from Tufts University.

Michelle LacourciereMichelle Lacourciere

Ms. Lacourciere formed the Sirona Cares Foundation (SCF) in 2009 to build sustainable communities. SCF places the power to create, use and sell alternative energy into the hands of the worlds’ poorest people. All of Sirona’s work is designed for sustainability, scalability and replication. SCF has both established a thriving bio-fuel program and created a mini-utility that provides electricity from solar generators to homes in Haiti at the same price as kerosene. By years end, the latter program will supply electricity to more than 12,000 people. She maintains these projects with regular site visits and remote correspondence with the Haitian management team. Sirona has gained recognition and support from many organizations, including USAID, UNEP and the Haitian Ministry of Energy. Ms. Lacourciere received her B.A. in Political, Legal and Economic Analysis from Mills College in 1990. She was recognized in San Francisco on United Nations International Women’s Day in 2010 for her work following the Haitian earthquake, and in 2013, she received a Silver Jefferson Award for public service. She participates in the UN Foundation’s Sustainable Energy for All campaign and the DOD sponsored STAR-TIDES Network. Ms. Lacourciere advises the IEEE’s Community Solutions Initiative on sustainable business plan development in Cameroon, Nigeria and South Sudan while scaling the program in Haiti and exploring opportunities for expansion of Sirona’s program to other countries.