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.
In Haiti, most families have traditionally relied on wood and wood-derived charcoal as their primary fuel source for indoor cooking. This resource has proven to be unsustainable, however, as over 90% of the Haitian countryside has already been deforested and wood is now in low supply. As a poor country, importing fuel is not a viable option and thus, the ability to utilize renewable energy sources is critical.
Wood-residue briquettes will relieve pressure in Haiti deforestation and create a market for the product. In Haiti, it would involve growing a renewable biomass crop – such as cane, vetiver or kenaf. Their by-products would furnish raw material for a briquetting operation.