New Delhi: Recognising the pathbreaking transformations in India’s energy sector under the visionary leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design is awarding its fourth annual Carnot Prize to Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways & Coal and former Minister of Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines, Government of India.
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.
Just like Carnot visualised the progress of mankind, the Carnot Prize recognises pioneering scholarship and path breaking policies in the energy sector. Previous winners include: Dr. Daniel Yergin, Vice chairman of IHS, Dr. Fatih Birol, Director of International Energy Agency, Gina McCarthy is a career public servant in fields of energy and environment.
The 2018 Carnot Prize is a recognition of India’s efforts under Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, as the nation charts the path towards eliminating energy poverty with sustainable energy solutions.The rural electrification drive gave a significant breakthrough to the mission of ‘24×7 Affordable, Environment Friendly Power for all’, as India eliminated decades of darkness in more than 19,000 villages on 28th April, 2018. With real-time monitoring, India’s energy starved people in the remotest villages of 19,000 villages saw electricity for the first time. With the Saubhagya Programme, the last-mile connectivity to every household in the villages is being fast tracked, with 51% of the 3.1 crore rural households electrified. 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.”
India has taken rapid strides towards translating the country’s ancient ethos of environment conservation in our ambitious renewables and energy efficiency programmes. As Hon’ble Prime Minister has called climate conservation an article of faith for India, the massive thrust to green energy is reflected in India’s 175 GW target by 2022, being the world’s largest renewable expansion programme with 72 GW already achieved. As solar and wind energy market prices achieve parity in India with record low tariffs, renewables are set to become the mainstay of development in the coming years. With India becoming home to the world’s largest solar park, solar plant and single rooftop plant, the Carnot Prize recognises India’s “solid footing to reach a 40% renewable mix by 2030” (Kleinman Center for Energy Policy). As Prime Minister Modi gave the vision of “one world, one sun, one grid” while addressing the member nations of the International Solar Alliance, India is playing its role as a committed solar leader through steady progress on all green energy goals.
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, and along with private sector participation, 130 crore LED bulbs have been distributed, making India brighter and cleaner. It is a matter of immense pride that in several newly electrified villages, the first consumers of electricity are using LED bulbs and rooftop solar panels, realising India’s vision of sustainable, universal, and affordable energy access.
The Carnot Prize is a recognition of India’s climate conscious and development driven energy governance that is fuelling the aspirations of 125 crore people.