The award recognises the pathbreaking transformations in India’s energy sector under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The efforts of Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas, and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, and R.K. Singh, Minister for Power, and New and Renewable Energy will further bolster India’s commitment towards mitigating climate change and provide energy security to the 125 crore people of the nation.
Piyush Goyal had 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 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. 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 towards eliminating energy poverty with sustainable energy solutions. The rural electrification drive helped in achieving ‘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 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.”
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.