Eurofer welcomed the European Commission’s launch this week of its hydrogen strategy for a climate-neutral Europe. The Commission has outlined a plan to integrate the hydrogen energy grid by 2050, which could be beneficial for steel companies seeking to reduce carbon emissions by using hydrogen.
The Association notes that by 2050, steel production using methods based on the use of hydrogen and clean energy will be 80-95% less intensive than steel production today. Production costs, however, will be significantly higher.
“Clean energy at competitive prices is the key to achieving the low-carbon targets of the steel industry,” says Eurofer CEO Axel Eggert. “Switching to carbon steel production will require 400 terawatt hours of CO2-free electricity per year. Of this, almost 250 terawatt hours are needed to produce 5.5 million tons of hydrogen, which will be used in new processes to produce green steel. This avoids around 5% of total EU CO2 emissions. ”
Looking ahead, Eurofer notes that in addition to developing a hydrogen and green strategy, the European Commission will need to ensure that the market recognizes the value of low CO2 steel.
“We need politicians to ensure there is a market for green steel and other similar low-carbon industrial products,” Eggert says. “Only by making the low-carbon transition to economic success can we leverage the EU’s leadership. The benefits for this European society will be enormous – if the entire transition period can be tied together and invested in sustainable development. ”