The Kleinman Center for Energy Policy at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design formally presented the fourth annual Carnot Prize to Union Minister Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways & Coal and former Minister of Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines, Government of India, at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.
The award recognises the pathbreaking transformations in India’s energy sector under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Piyush Goyal stated that “it is both a personal honour as well as a tribute to the efforts of all involved in this great work throughout India to be recognised with the Carnot Prize by the University of Pennsylvania.”
Additionally, he has decided that the award money, which he will receive as part of the 2018 Carnot Prize, will be donated to the International Solar Alliance (ISA) to institute the Diwakar Award. The Diwakar award will recognise, every year, an outstanding organisation that has been working for special children and maximising the use of solar energy.
The Carnot Prize is the Kleinman Center’s annual recognition of distinguished contributions to energy policy through scholarship or practice. The most prestigious award in the energy sector, Carnot Prize is named after French physicist Nicolas Sadi Carnot who recognised that the power of the steam engine would “produce a great revolution” in human development. The Carnot Prize is intended to honour those leading revolutions in energy policy to further progress and prosperity.
The 2018 Carnot Prize is a recognition of India’s efforts towards eliminating energy poverty with sustainable energy solutions. The rural electrification drive helped in achieving ‘24×7 Affordable, Environment Friendly Power for All.’ With the Saubhagya Programme, the last-mile connectivity to every household in the villages is being fast tracked.
Mark Alan Hughes, founding faculty director, Kleinman Center, commended India’s electrification drive: “Providing power to the world’s energy poor turns on the lights—and also empowers education, sanitation, and health care. It closes the gap between the haves and have nots.”
The massive thrust to green energy is reflected in India’s 175 GW target by 2022, which is the world’s largest renewable expansion programme. The Carnot Prize recognises India’s “solid footing to reach a 40% renewable mix by 2030.”
In the last four years, energy efficiency has become a people’s movement in India, making the Government’s UJALA scheme the world’s largest LED distribution programme. Along with private sector participation, 143 crore LED bulbs have been provided.