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Global businesses support increased investment in renewable energy

60% of U.S. businesses would accept higher energy costs in the short-term to reduce the country's reliance on oil

Category: Investment, Renewable Energy

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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.

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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."

Any and all references to Grant Thornton International are to Grant Thornton International Ltd.

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.

About Grant Thornton LLP

The people in the independent firms of Grant Thornton International Ltd provide personalized attention and the highest quality service to public and private clients in more than 100 countries. Grant Thornton LLP is the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd, one of the six global audit, tax and advisory organizations. Grant Thornton International Ltd and its member firms are not a worldwide partnership, as each member firm is a separate and distinct legal entity.

In the U.S. , visit Grant Thornton LLP at www.GrantThornton.com.

About Grant Thornton International Ltd

Grant Thornton International is one of the world's leading organisations of independently owned and managed accounting and consulting firms. These firms provide assurance, tax and specialist business advice to privately held businesses and public interest entities. Services are delivered independently by the member and correspondent firms within Grant Thornton International, a non-practicing, international umbrella entity organised as a private company limited by guarantee incorporated in England and Wales . Grant Thornton International does not deliver services in its own name or otherwise. Grant Thornton International and the member firms are not a worldwide partnership.

For more information, please contact:

Kristi Grgeta
T 312.602.8720
E Kristi.Grgeta@us.gt.com

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