One of the biggest projects is the Inter-American Development Bank's $48.8-million plan to refurbish Haiti's Peligre hydroelectric plant, the country's largest energy producer. It now operates at less than half its original capacity of 54 megawatts because its reservoir hasn't been properly maintained.
The cell phone company Digicel, Haiti's largest employer, has built about 180 solar-powered lamps in the countryside and hopes to add 1,000 more by next year. Each light features an outlet for charging mobile phones.
Boston-based Partners in Health has installed solar panels in the hospitals it runs with the Health Ministry, and plans to build more with the Solar Electric Light Fund.
"If we would go three hours without electricity and the refrigerator doesn't work, there's a risk we'll lose our supply of medication," said Raymond Abraham, a 30-year-old pharmacist in training at the Boucan Carre hospital, which is powered with solar panels on the roof. "The best solution to resolve the blackout situation is solar energy."
In Port-au-Prince, solar lamps illuminate a winding thoroughfare that takes motorists to the mountains above the capital as well as the settlement camps that sprung up after the earthquake.
But solar energy panels are expensive and the equipment is not always easy to repair. Replacement parts often are not available in Haiti.
Energy development "needs to be locally controlled and not a dumping of technology from abroad," said Joel Kupferman, executive director of the Environmental Justice Initiative for Haiti.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.