The effectiveness of installing solar panels at schools in Pakistan to increase enrolment

Faculty / School

School of Economics and Social Sciences (SESS)


Department of Economics

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Document Type


Source Publication

Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences




Education | Environmental Sciences | Geography | Growth and Development


At present, 35% of all primary schools and 15% of all secondary schools in Pakistan do not have access to electricity, severely impacting student participation and performance. Earlier literature exploring the effects of electrification of schools through solar electricity on educational access and outcome has been very limited, but recently it has gained attention. By examining data of more than 20,000 schools across 176 districts of Pakistan from the years 2013 until 2018, this paper quantifies the effectiveness of installing solar panels at schools to generate electricity, and thus increasing student participation through higher enrolment. The results show that a school where a solar panel was installed as an education policy initiative witnessed an increase in enrolment, when compared to a school that did not have a solar panel installed under the education policy initiative. This research highlights an immediate need of electrification of schools in order to improve learning outcomes. It also quantifies the effects of using solar electricity at schools that otherwise may not have access to electricity via the conventional grid system. Finally, as Pakistan ranks second in the list of countries with the worst pollution in the world, this study provides evidence for policymakers, and urges them to focus on expanding the use of renewable energy resources in all fields of socioeconomic activity in order to reverse the detrimental effects of climate change.

Indexing Information

HJRS - X Category, Scopus, Web of Science - Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI)