The research presented in this report directly addresses important and unresolved questions stemming from the unexpected fact that Haitians continue to meet approximately 80 percent of their national energy needs through firewood and charcoal production.
Haiti burns over 400,000 tons of charcoal annually (USAID 2011); that amount translates to over 4,000,000 tons of trees destroyed since it takes 10 tons of wood to produce one ton of Haitian charcoal (ESMAP 2007). Regional environmental studies in Haiti, including Ghilardi, et al 2018, have determined that the Haitian charcoal industry has a destructive effect on the trees of Haiti.
Conventional charcoal and firewood are the main source of energy in Haiti. They provide up to 90% of the country’s energy for domestic and industrial use, resulting in severe environmental and health issues. The present study is initiated to better understand the reasons why two promising alternative technologies (improved cookstoves and alternative charcoal briquettes) have experienced low adoption in Haiti.