Australian and Indian businesses lead calls for greener energy

Volatile fossil fuel prices are encouraging some businesses to source greener forms of power, says Grant Thornton report

Pic: Chris Goldberg/Flickr

Pic: Chris Goldberg/Flickr

By Sophie Yeo

Indian and Australian businesses are among the most enthusiastic globally over switching to greener sources of energy.

In India, 83% of businesses cite the switch to cleaner energy as important to their growth strategy over the next year – almost three times the international average.

These are the results of a survey by consultants Grant Thornton, who interviewed 2,500 chief executives and other company leaders from 34 economies in May this year about the importance of clean energy in their growth over the coming 12 months.

Australia is an outlier in the general trend showing that business from emerging are more likely to prioritise the switch to clean energy than those in rich nations.

“Businesses in these economies clearly have a keen appetite for investment in green technologies which have moved on rapidly as the supply of more traditional energy sources has become more volatile,” said Nathan Goode, global leader for energy and clean technology at Grant Thornton.

“The opportunity in emerging markets is huge; the debate should now focus on how – not whether – these technologies are deployed.”

Botswana (72%) and Mexico (74%) also outstrip average levels of enthusiasm for clean energy worldwide.

Regionally, businesses in Latin America (64%), Africa (51%) and south east Asia (49%) were the keenest to make the switch to cleaner energy. This compares to 22% in North America and 30% in Europe.

One reason why businesses in emerging economies are embracing greener energy more enthusiastically than rich countries could be that clean, localised sources provide an opportunity to become independent from an unreliable grid system, the report suggests.

It could also reflect how governments in Europe and America are pushing energy efficiency as a means to bring down carbon emissions.

However, the enthusiasm among Australian corporations for green energy is surprising, says the report, given the government’s recent abolition of the carbon tax on the grounds that it is a burden to business.

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