CHICAGO - October 26, 2011 (Investorideas.com renewable energy/green newswire) Following the unrest in the Middle East and North Africa , and its impact on oil prices, 44% of global businesses would now support increased government investment in renewable/alternative energy according to the latest research from Grant Thornton's International Business Report (IBR). In the U.S. , 41% are more likely to support increased government investment.
With the economic situation becoming more uncertain as the year progresses, the price of oil has generally reflected global concerns. Brent Crude, which started the year at $85 a barrel, climbed to US$125 a barrel in April and has generally remained above $100 a barrel since.
Indeed, many businesses would be willing to endure the short-term pain such investment might create: 51% of the global respondents said they would accept higher energy costs in the short-term in order to reduce their economy's reliance on oil and have more stable prices in the longer-term. However, while this stance was supported by 60% of businesses in North America and the US and 53% in the G7, just 35% of those in the BRIC economies agreed.
"The Arab Spring is a key event in global energy security. The region holds substantial known global oil reserves so a dramatic increase in the price of oil was to be expected," noted Cal Hackeman, global leader of Grant Thornton's Cleantech industry group and the U.S. Technology industry managing partner.
"However, this seems to have sharpened the minds of businesses to the challenge of moving towards more sustainable sources of energy," continued Hackeman. "At a time when the global recovery remains fragile it is encouraging to see that so many businesses would support extra investment in renewables even if this caused energy costs to rise in the short-term. These results should serve as a reminder to governments and international organisations that reliance of economies on oil needs to be addressed."
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About the Grant Thornton International Business Report
The Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR) provides insight into the views and expectations of over 11,000 businesses per year across 39 economies. This unique survey draws upon 19 years of trend data for most European participants and nine years for many non-European economies. For more information, please visit: www.internationalbusinessreport.com.
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