2018 Carnot Prize Policy Lecture and Award Ceremony
- Piyush GoyalMinister of Railways and CoalGovernment of India
- William W. Burke-WhiteRichard Perry Professor and Inaugural DirectorPerry World House
- Aaswath RamanAssistant Professor, Electrical and Systems EngineeringSchool of Engineering and Applied Science
This year's Carnot Prize, for distinguished contributions to energy policy, will be awarded to the Honorable Piyush Goyal, India's minister of railways and minister of coal, and former minister of power and renewables.
During his tenure, Goyal directed a fast-track effort to electrify 18,000 villages in remote parts of India—helping bridge the country’s vast energy divide. The International Energy Agency (IEA) reports that in the year 2000, less than half of India’s population had access to electricity. Now, more than 80% of the population has access to electricity. If this pace continues, India will have universal electrification by 2020, "one of the largest successes in the history of electrification.” While India has relied heavily on coal to power up the country—like China in recent years and the United States decades ago—India’s coal expansion appears to have peaked and the permanent transition to cleaner energy is underway.
The award will be presented by William W. Burke-White, Richard Perry Professor, Inaugural Director of Perry World House, and Professor of Law. In honor of this year's recipient, Aaswath Raman, Assistant Professor of Electrical and Systems Engineering, will give a faculty lecture on his research, "An Untapped Renewable Energy Resource: The Cold of Space."
A reception will follow, beginning at 4:30pm.
Follow along on social media: #CarnotPrize
About Piyush Goyal
Shri Piyush Goyal is a member of India’s upper house of parliament and serves as the minister of railways and coal. He previously oversaw power, coal, new and renewable energy, and mines.
During Goyal’s tenure, India has seen transformational changes in its power sector—including the fast-track electrification of nearly 18,000 villages in some of the most remote and inaccessible parts of the country. Goyal’s other projects include rolling out a comprehensive power sector reform plan, the world’s largest LED bulb distribution program, and the world’s largest renewable energy expansion program.
Over his 34-year political career, Goyal has held several positions in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), where he served as national treasurer and also head of the party’s communications committee during India’s 2014 general elections.
Goyal studied accounting and law at Mumbai University. In addition to public service, he was an investment banker and advised top corporations on management strategy and growth. He also served on the boards of the State Bank of India— the country’s largest commercial bank—and Bank of Baroda.
His father, the late Vedprakash Goyal was India’s union minister of shipping and the BJP’s national treasurer for over two decades. His mother, Chandrakanta Goyal, was elected three times to the Maharashtra state legislative assembly.
Goyal is married to Seema, who is a social worker, and he has two children who currently live in the United States: Dhruv works in New York, and Radhika studies at Harvard.
Read the announcement about this year's prize.