In a recent cabinet shuffle, Mr. Piyush Goyal was promoted to the position of Minister of Railways and Coal and Mr. Raj Kumar Singh took over his old role as the Minister of Power. For Mr. Goyal, this change marked the end of a three-year tenure at the helm of both the Power Ministry and the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE).
As the Minister of Power, Mr. Goyal strongly advocated for the renewable sector and ushered in reforms to strengthen the grid. He also emphasized the importance of renewable energy development for a sustainable future and aided the power sector with complementing policies.
According to Mercom’s India Solar Project Tracker, in Mr. Goyal’s three years of tenure, nearly 12 GW of solar was installed and another 12 GW was placed under development.
Toward the end of Mr. Goyal’s tenure, the Indian renewable energy sector has been experiencing some tough challenges, especially in solar as an anti-dumping investigation against solar component imports got underway.
In 2014, Mr. Piyush Goyal defended the government’s decision not to impose an anti‑dumping duty on solar panels and was quoted at a conference saying, “The imposition of an anti-dumping duty will kill the solar mission. Imposition of any such duty would have led to escalation in the tariff from solar plants.” It is unclear how he would have handled the current situation, but he has surely given some sound advice to the incoming minister.
There are several challenges that Mr. R.K. Singh, the new Minister of Power, must tackle successfully if India’s renewable energy targets are to be met. In three years, Mr. Goyal has laid down a solid foundation for Mr. Singh to continue the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy.
Image credit: Piyush Goyal Office