Countries that don’t emulate the US and provide financial incentives to kick-start renewable energy projects risk missing out on billions of dollars of investment, the global boss of UK-listed engineering group John Wood has warned.
“There are a lot of governments out there really worried about not being aggressive enough on the journey and getting left behind from an investment standpoint,” chief executive Ken Gilmartin told The Australian Financial Review during a trip to Sydney.
Wood Group boss Ken Gilmartin says the US is reaping the benefits of providing financial incentives to investors in renewable energy projects
“One of the huge benefits that the US is seeing on the back of the Inflation Reduction Act is a massive amount of investment coming back into the country into industry.”
The US act, which provides billions of dollars in grant and loan programs to spur investment in clean energy projects as well as tax breaks, has had a “huge impact”, giving US projects that may previously have been considered borderline access to capital, Mr Gilmartin said.
And while there were questions over whether Europe’s Green Deal had the “teeth or the scale” to compete with US act, Europe had responded immediately, he said. “You can see the trends… is there a similar piece here for Australia?”
Investors, environmentalists and unions are pushing the federal government to spend $100 billion ensuring Australia’s renewables industry remains competitive with the US.
Wood’s Asia-Pacific boss, Ralph Ellis, said the company’s international customers had plenty of investment options. “If they see a path that looks like it’s got more certainty, more opportunity, they will just discretionally push their investments in that direction.”
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