Solar power systems have been installed in thousands of schools in Punjab, Pakistan with support from ADB’s Access to Clean Energy Investment Program. These schools are off-grid or used to experience frequent power outages.  Now that they have reliable electricity, classrooms have proper lighting, ventilation, and access to drinking water, vastly improving the learning environment for students  especially amid the sweltering summer heat in the southern part of the province.


Punjab, Pakistan

Rooftop solar panels are powering thousands of schools in Pakistan.

Installed with ADB’s support, they provide reliable electricity to schools that used to experience blackouts, creating a much better learning environment especially amid the sweltering heat of summers in southern Punjab.

Mehak, student at government elementary school in Nandla, Multan

"When I joined this school, there was no electricity. We had a hard time getting drinking water and we had to attend class in extremely hot weather. After the installation of the solar panels, we no longer have difficulty getting drinking water and we can turn on fans."

Komal Shahzadi, teacher at government elementary school in Nandla, Multan

“Student enrolment has increased. (Before the solar panels) many parents would not send their children to school because of the hot weather in the summer. (Having power) made a huge difference. Students now happily go to school.”

Over 10,700 public schools now enjoy uninterrupted electricity at a much lower cost, benefitting 1.27 million students and saving up to PKR 509 million each year.

Solar panels can also be found at the University of Bahawalpur, which offers courses requiring state-of-the-art technology.

Athar Mahboob, Vice Chancellor at the University of Bahawalpur

“All our activities in Islamia University of Bahawalpur, the academic activities, the research and their extracurricular activities, they require us to use electricity for lighting and cooling purposes. The economic benefits that we are getting, the PKR 70 million that we are saving allows us to use that money for other more pressing needs.”

Some schools are even earning by selling excess power to the national grid.

Arif Qesrani, project director for the Access to Clean Energy Investment Program

“(South Punjab) is covered by mountains, hill torrents, and riverine belts. So 100% power coverage could not be achieved. With the help of this project, we are motivating people to meet the power requirements. They can make their own arrangements.  We arranged proper training sessions related to its maintenance.”

Solar panels are being installed in 4,200 more schools.

Over 2,000 basic health units are also being fitted with solar panels to ensure the continuous delivery of healthcare services.

Yong Ye, Country Director for Pakistan, Asian Development Bank

“ADB is working to provide wider energy access throughout Asia and the Pacific. The best way to do it is through the development of renewable energy sources. We are happy to support the government of Pakistan to achieve its goal of providing clean, reliable, and sustainable electricity for all.”