Bringing Sunshine to Young Lives Worldwide

Solar energy can be a power for good in many ways. At one Hong Kong college, it’s not only helping the environment but also lighting up the lives of bright youngsters from Lebanon and Slovakia to Madagascar and Cambodia.

Bringing Sunshine to Young Lives Worldwide

Solar power isn’t only good for the environment. It can generate economic, social, and educational benefits and help people around the world in unexpected ways.


Hong Kong’s two power companies launched a Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariff (FiT) Scheme in 2018, promising to buy electricity generated from renewable energy systems such as solar panels on the rooftops of residential or commercial buildings.


In an inspirational move, the Li Po Chun United World College (LPCUWC) of Hong Kong is using income from solar power for scholarships that support students from underprivileged backgrounds around the world, enhancing cultural diversity on campus. 

Shining a light on global inequity

A residential college located in a suburban area in the New Territories, LPCUWC completed one of the largest solar power projects in Hong Kong’s education sector in October 2019, installing 1,168 panels on the rooftops of 10 campus buildings. 


The system, with a total capacity of more than 400 kW, is expected to produce around 480,000 kWh of electricity a year, enough to cover the annual electricity consumption of 120 four-person households.


Under CLP’s FiT scheme, the college will generate an annual revenue of around HK$1.9 million from the solar power system, and it has used that income to set up a LPCUWC Solar Power System Scholarship to support underprivileged students from around the world.


Solar panels on campus rooftop
LPCUWC has installed 1,168 solar panels on the rooftops of 10 campus buildings.

A financial assessment is taken to determine the level of scholarship granted to each applicant, up to full scholarship that can support all the expenses including tuition, books, rent, and examination entry fees. In the 2020/2021 academic year, scholarships were given to six students from Slovakia, Israel, Lebanon, Tajikistan, Madagascar, and Cambodia. 


LPCUWC Board Chairman Anthony Tong was delighted to see how the solar energy project helped both attract talented students and increase the college’s cultural diversity. “With the scholarship, we were proud to invite students from three new countries to join us in 2020 – Lebanon, Israel, and Slovakia. Now we have a campus which is full of energy from young people of 90 nationalities,” he says.

Watch the video to hear what Anthony Tong and LPCUWC students think about the exciting project.


Lessons in low-carbon living

The solar power project, a collaboration between LPCUWC and CLP which won the Innovative Energy Project of the Year 2020 award (Asia Pacific Rim Region) from the Association of Energy Engineers, has also created exciting new opportunities for teaching and learning. Students can get involved in roles including site checking, evaluating the available models of solar panels, witnessing the installation work, and monitoring the electricity generation performance.  


The technological components of the solar power system have opened windows for STEM-focused learning, while the socio-economic aspects of the impact of renewable energy development can be explored in the classroom in the context of the students’ diverse backgrounds. 


Visit to CLP SmartHub
LPCUWC students learn about the latest green technologies and innovative energy solutions on a visit to the CLP SmartHub.

With many of the 250 students at LPCUWC coming from less developed countries, LPCUWC Principal Arnett Edwards says there is high possibility these students will go on to champion alternative energy and sustainability in their home countries.


He also hopes the initiative will inspire other schools and colleges in Hong Kong to follow suit. “We want to promote sustainability not just within our own community in the college, but also to young people in other schools,” he says.  


CLP has organised programmes for students from LPCUWC and other secondary schools in Hong Kong to learn more about renewable energy, climate change, and sustainability. Students from other schools were also invited to visit the campus of LPCUWC, engage in discussions about the solar power system, and explore ways to live more sustainably.

The pioneering project has done much more than simply generate solar energy on a college campus. It's given life-changing opportunities to students with financial difficulties, and brought sustainability closer by inspiring young people to think about low-carbon goals and raising their awareness of how to safeguard the planet.