Highlights in 2020
Highlights in 2020

High impact innovation activity triggered by MI

In view of the need to report consolidated data on energy R&D in Brazil and the wide fragmentation of this information in several institutions, Brazil’s participation in MI3 was a major motivation for the start of the Energy Big Push Project in Brazil, a partnership with IEA, ECLAC, Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME), Center for Strategic Studies and Management (CGEE) and many other institutions.

One of the axes of this project was dedicated to the consolidation of a database of public and publicly oriented investments in energy R&D, following the classification of the IEA. In 2020, the final reports of the first cycle of the EBP Project were released and a new phase started, with support from the British government, for the implementation of an Energy Innovation Platform, containing the consolidated information on energy R&D, to be released in 2021.

These data have been relevant to support the improvement of policies and governance of science, technology and innovation activities in the Mining and Energy sectors.  An example of this is Interministerial Ordinance No. 464, of December 12, 2019, that instituted an Interministerial Working Group (between the Ministry of Mines and Energy and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation), with the objective of proposing a new governance that could foster innovation at energy and mining sectors in Brazil. Other important improvement in governance is the National Energy Policy Council (CNPE) Resolution nº 2, of February 2021, that establishes guidelines for prioritizing R&D in strategic areas, such as hydrogen, biofuels, energy storage, digital transformation and others.

Update on clean energy innovation policies and strategies

According to the IEA (2018), Brazil has the greenest energy mix amongst large economies. In 2019, the proportion of renewables in the Brazilian energy matrix was around 46,1% and 83% in its electricity mix. In line with its goal to expand the use of renewable energy sources, it is expected to reach a share of 48% from renewable sources (electricity and biofuels) by 2030, according to the 2030 Ten Year Energy Expansion Plan.

In the transportation sector, Brazil has strong biofuels mandates (27.5% ethanol mix in gasoline and 12% biodiesel mix in diesel) and it aims to increase biofuels in the energy mix to 18% by 2030 (RenovaBio). The Rota 2030 programme, announced in 2018, requires vehicle manufacturers to increase energy efficiency of their fleet by 11% by 2022, and grants tax cuts on the purchase and import of electric and hybrid vehicles.

The Science, Technology and Innovation Plan for Renewable Energies and Biofuels 2018-2022 is a strategic orientation document of the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communications to operate in the areas of renewable energies and biofuels, being part of the National Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy (ENCTI 2016-2022).

In energy efficiency, given the current structure of our economy, a combination of policies has driven efficiency gains of 14% between 2005 and 2019, with emphasis on the residential and transport sector.

In the power sector, auction design has led Brazil to the addition of 30 GW renewables (wind, solar and biomass) in 15 years, using effective planning tools to combine hydropower, gas power, biomass and a continental-size transmission infrastructure to maximize integration of renewables

Nuclear is also part of the solution. Brazil is developing efforts to make new nuclear plants viable, seeking synergies and externalities in other uses of nuclear technology, as well as assessing the sharing of costs and benefits and paying attention to the communication process with society.

In 2020, the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME) published Brazilian National Energy Plan 2050 (PNE 2050). The Plan represents the long-term strategy for the energy sector in Brazil aiming to promote the energy transition in Brazil. The strategy recognizes the importance of market design and effective institutional governance to drive innovation and foster sustainable development. In order to implement this strategy, the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME) with the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovations (MCTI) invested in strengthening governance for innovation in energy. An example is the Resolution proposed by National Energy Policy Council (CNPE) that establishes guidelines for prioritizing R&D in strategic areas, such as hydrogen, biofuels, energy storage, digital transformation and others. Another example is the engagement of MME and other public institutions in the continuity of the Energy Big Push project and process. One of the results of this process is the implementation of a Platform, with the support of Prosperity Fund/British government, with data on investments in R&D in energy in Brazil whose first phase begins at the end of 2020 and ends in May 2021.

Major innovation initiatives and programmes in 2020/20

The main initiatives were mapped under the Energy Big Push project[1] The executive summary of the project is available[2].

Private sector engagement in 2020/21

In Brazil, an important driver of private sector participation in R&D investments in clean energy is the policy that establishes mandatory RD&D clause in all concession, permission and authorization contracts for the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity, regulated by the Brazilian Electricity Regulatory Agency (ANEEL), as well as for the exploration, development, and production of oil and natural gas, regulated by the National Agency for Petroleum, the Natural Gas and Biofuels (ANP).

In the case of the electricity sector, ANEEL’s R&D Program was established in the 2000s through Law No. 9,991 / 2000 and provides that companies in the electricity sector must employ, every year, a percentage of their net operating revenue in technological research and development projects in benefit of the electric sector: 1% in the case of energy generation and transmission companies, and 0.5% in the case of energy distributors (as they must also invest another 0.5% in energy efficiency). The regulatory agency is responsible for managing and operationalizing this public policy, which has invested an average of R $ 580 million annually.

In this context of this policy and the ANEEL’s R&D program, Public Calls has been an important instrument for mobilizing private investments with a focus on strategic areas. This is the case of the Strategic Call “Development of Efficient Electric Mobility Solutions” (nº 022/2018), based on a concept of Innovation Network in the Electricity Sector (RISE, in Portuguese), which approved 30 projects across the country and mobilized R$ 463.8 million in investments[3], including a counterpart of R$ 72.2 million from the companies involved.

It is important to highlight that ANEEL’s regulated R&D Program has invested in several improvements to increase the results of investments in R&D of companies in the sector.

Public sector RD&D investment

New Collaborations

  • Collaborator: Brazil, CEPAL (UN-ECLAC), GIZ (Germany)


  • Collaborator: UK
    • Name of collaboration
      • Energy Innovation Platform (EIP) – implementing a digital platform for energy innovation in Brazil
    • Brief Description
      • Development of a Platform that consolidates strategic information on public and publicly oriented R&D investments, previously mapped under the Energy Big Push Project
    • Sectors
      • Public Sector
    • Type of collaboration
      • Development
    • Duration
      • Nov 2020 to May 2021
    • Funding amount
      • £90,000

[1] -big-push



[4] It is noteworthy that Brazil co-sponsored this project with an additional estimated amount of R$ 340,000 via the Management Agreement between Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI) and the Center for Management and Strategic Studies (CGEE)