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“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.