Brazil is one of the founding Members of Mission Innovation, created in November 2015 with the main goal of doubling, in the following five years, public and public-oriented investment in RD&D of clean energy technologies. As we finally reach that five-year milestone, it is time to evaluate Brazil’s progress and the impact of MI.
Investment has indeed increased in our country in that period. However, one of the main challenges we have identified when tracking our investment progress is the myriad of domestic public stakeholders that have specific funds or policies to foster clean energy innovation, each with different rules, measurement methodologies and priorities. This complex landscape posed major challenges to the measurement and monitoring of the total national investment in support of clean energy RD&D, as well as other indicators.
It was clear for us that an integrated, comprehensive and structured database on the overall Brazilian investment in clean energy technologies, combined with long-term energy scenarios, could be used as a guide to improve public policies and governance, foster partnerships between the public and private sectors, and diffuse clean energy solutions and innovations, therefore boosting the impact of our investments.
In order to lay the foundation for that database, the Energy Big Push project was created, under the coordination of the Energy Research Office (EPE), the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the Center for Strategic Studies and Management, with the support from the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME) and Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI). We also relied on the International Energy Agency expertise and the support of the many public institutions involved in funding RD&D in the energy sector.
The origins of the Energy Big Push project go back to mid-2018. After all the preparation works, including designing the terms of reference and finding project partners and funding, it finally kicked-off in the beginning of 2019. The following results were presented on October, 2020: I) a structure and methodology proposal for a data collection and management tool on public and private investments for the research, development and demonstration of sustainable energy technologies; ii) the mapping of technical, economic, social and environmental variables and parameters for an assessment on the performance of sustainable energy solutions and; iii) proposed strategic lines and priority instruments, focused on innovation, to accelerate Brazil´s energy transition.
For us, the goal now is to turn this project into a domestic built-in process under the Brazilian government, and that objective is well under way. Brazil is certainly better equipped now than five years ago to keep ourselves on track for our energy transition.