The European Commission has initiated a new strategy to develop an integrated hydrogen energy network across the continent within 30 years—an undertaking that will require millions of tonnes of steel.
The European Steel Association (Eurofer) lauded the plan, citing competitively priced clean energy as the key. Axel Eggert, director general, Eurofer, noted that carbon-lean steelmaking necessitates 400 terawatt-hours of CO2-free electricity per annum, of which nearly 250 terawatt-hours are required to produce 5.5mt of hydrogen that can then be diverted to making green steel.
New hydrogen and clean energy-based steel production should cut 80-95pc of CO2 by 2050, but the caveat is that it will cost significantly more. But Eurofer contends that by incorporating hydrogen in steel plants, regional networks comprising small and medium enterprises, other industrial sectors, and municipalities will benefit from steel industry-driven demand.
Eggert said it’s imperative to foster a market for so-called ‘green steel’ and other low-carbon industrial products, adding that the entire EU will benefit from the transition to cleaner technologies if it’s coordinated.