Transitioning to low-emission steel: making the energy market fit for the industrial future
- Axel Eggert, Director General at Eurofer
- Henning Häder, Manager for Energy Policy, Climate & Sustainability
- Oliver Koch, Deputy Head of Unit for Wholesale Markets- Electricity and Gas at the European Commission
Since the 1960s, carbon emissions and energy consumption per tonne of steel produced in Europe have been halved. As a result of industry progress, EU steel producers are now approaching the thermodynamic limits of the processes currently used and any major abatement potential is linked to the deployment of emerging capital-intensive breakthrough technologies.
Steel industry estimations for the potential of further emissions reductions from such technologies are between 50% and 95% over the decreases already achieved. This transition however will require the sector to upend hundreds of years of established thinking about how steel is made. It is certain to be an energy-intensive process.
In a scenario where the entire EU’s steel production is converted to technologies based on hydrogen and renewables, the European energy market would have to adapt to the steel industry’s needs – by creating up to 500TWh.
The changes needed would be nothing short of revolutionary. Forging this revolution is the next challenge for the steel and energy sectors.
During this debate, invited speakers representing the steel and energy sectors, alongside representatives of the European institutions, discussed how the EU and the Member States can support the roll out of clean energy sources distributed through reliable infrastructure to make the potential transition towards low-emission, European steel value chains a reality.