Minister of the Year
Wellington Moreira Franco
Moreira Franco has had a long, varied and distinguished career spanning decades in Brazilian politics and academia, starting out as a sociology professor at the Federal Fluminense University before making the move into politics as the Mayor of Niterói in 1977.
In his position as the Minister of Mines and Energy, he has highlighted the importance of reliable and renewable energy to spur social justice. He is a vocal supporter of hydropower and green energy, which promises greater energy security across Brazil's electricity system. Under the Temer government, in the last year, solar PV has doubled in capacity to 2GW and today Brazil can boast an energy mix with a 40pc renewables share.
Moreira Franco has also drawn attention to the importance of modernising Brazil's electricity grid and widening access to electricity across the country. The "Programa Luz para Todos" succeeded in bringing electricity to 10mn Brazilians and now the scheme has been extended across the country, with the ambition of providing nationwide access by December 2022. Electricity reforms were recently passed which will add an additional 2,562km of transmission lines across 16 states.
Since joining the ministry, Moreira Franco has encouraged the development of natural gas, helping to speed up the bidding process for auction areas and to lower electricity prices. He has stressed the opportunity these auctions have to supplement social spending and boost employment. By 2054, the Agência Nacional do Petróleo, Gás Natural e Biocombustíveis (ANP) estimates $2tn could be collected when added to the bidding and sharing rounds scheduled for 2019.