What and when


The world has indeed followed his action by moving away from fossil fuels to the renewables since then.

Nobuo TANAKA Former Executive Director, the International Energy Agency (2007-2011)

Dear Manuel and friends, I have known Professor Manuel Pinho for his contributions in renewable energies since the time when I served as Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA) during 2007-2011. His country, Portugal, has become a world leader in renewable energies when Professor Pinho was responsible for the Ministry of Economy. He was one of the most active and innovative Ministers of the IEA member countries. The world has indeed followed his action by moving away from fossil fuels to the renewables since then. After he left the government, Professor Pinho taught at Columbia and Georgetown Universities in the United States. He was also a professor at Yale University in the United States and the University of Queensland in Australia, where he was awarded de Rodney Wiley distinguished fellowship. Professor Pinho visited on a regular basis China, where he had visiting positions at Peking University, Renmin University and Beijing Foreign Studies Universities. In China, he gave several lectures, including at the Ministry of Finance, Beijing University and Fudan University. He taught and stimulated thousands of young professionals for a sustainable energy future. He is certainly one of the most valuable energy professionals of the recent years! Thank you, Pinho sensei for your dedication and limitless energy for the change. I wish you best luck.


What do I mean by confinement

  • smear campaigns
  • social isolation
  • defamation
  • living abroad with no permanent visa and limited access to healthcare
  • difficulty in obtaining a visa to travel abroad
  • difficult access to non temporal jobs, etc

When did it start

A smear campaign was launched the day it was public in Portugal that after living government I would spend some time in the US teaching energy policy.

I would have been offered a multimillion dollars chair financed by the energy incumbent EDP to teach renewable energies in a school in the US (Columbia University).

The facts

Step 1.EDP is one of the largest renewable energies operator in the US. To raise its profile, EDP has decided to sponsor a US school to develop teaching and research initiatives in clean energy. I was invited by that same school to teach a 1 semester energy class on a part time basis with a short time contract, no right to permanent visa or healthcare. In addition to teaching, I was in charge of a high profile program of lectures by world energy leaders. Subsequently, I was invited to come back given that my classes were oversubscribed. I always made clear to the school administrators that I wanted absolutely no involvement with the EDP program. I was invited by 7 universities around the world. No chair, no multimillion chair, only part time assignments with a token salary.

Step 2. In 2012, a group of Portuguese citizens including nuclear power lobbists filed a complaint to the EU Commission that EDP had been favored by 2 specific measures of my responsibility and at the same time the Justice department launched an investigation.

Step 3. The government decided to raise de VAT rate from 6 to 23% and, as could be expected, this has put pressure on electricity prices paid by domestic consumers. An aggressive political campaign was launched to attribute the increase in electricity prices to “excessive rents” paid to power producers.

Step 4. In 2014, the EU Commission decided to launch an investigation on wether the 2 specific measures were illegal state aid.

Step 5. In 2017, the EU decided that the 2 measures under investigation did not entail any ilegal aid to a company by the state.

Step 6. A few weeks later, the Portuguese justice decided that several individuals, including myself, the CEO´s of EDP and EDP Renewables, 3 of my closest advisors when I held office and others were officially suspected of having acted to benefit EDP. Later, it was known that the benefits under investigation were the matters that the EU Commission had investigated in depth and found no wrongdoing.

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