Steel needs energy and the energy system needs steel
In our society, steel is firmly ingrained. Steel is used extensively in the construction of buildings such as houses, schools, hospitals, bridges, automobiles, and trucks, to mention a few. Steel will play an important role in the energy shift, as solar panels, wind turbines, dams, and electric cars all rely on it to some extent. Steel demand has more than tripled since 1970, and it is expected to continue to climb as countries develop, urbanize, consume more commodities, and expand their infrastructure.
The iron and steel industry ranks first in terms of CO2 emissions and second in terms of energy consumption among heavy sectors. The iron and steel industry emits 2.6 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide (Gt CO2) per year, accounting for 7% of global energy system emissions and more than all road freight emissions combined. Steel is now the greatest industrial user of coal, accounting for around 75% of total energy consumption. Coal is used to create heat and to manufacture coke, which is essential for the chemical processes that lead to the production of steel from iron ore.
Sustaining projected demand growth while reducing emissions poses immense challenges
Steel consumption is expected to rise by more than a third between now and 2050. The Covid-19 issue has wreaked havoc on global supply lines, resulting in a projected 5% drop in global crude steel output in 2020 compared to 2019. Based on robust output levels in the first half of the year, the People’s Republic of China (“China”) defies the global trend, with production expected to rise in 2020. In our baseline predictions, the steel sector recovers to a solid growth trajectory after a short-term worldwide downturn. Despite a greater percentage of less energy-intensive secondary manufacturing, CO2 emissions are predicted to rise to 2.7 Gt CO2 per year by 2050, which is 7% more than today, unless targeted steps to cut steel consumption were practicable and an overhaul of the present production fleet are taken.
Steel is one of the most recyclable commodities currently in use. While iron ore accounts for around 70% of the metallic raw material inputs to steelmaking worldwide, the remainder is provided in the form of recycled steel scrap. Steel made from scrap needs around one-eighth of the energy used to make steel from iron ore, and it is mostly in the form of electricity rather than coal. As a result of this benefit, recycling rates are high (around 80-90 percent globally). Scrap, on the other hand, cannot meet the sector’s raw material input requirements on its own since steel output now is higher than it was when the goods being recycled were made. As a result, recycling alone will not be sufficient to cut emissions from the industry to the levels required to fulfill climate targets.
If energy and climate targets are to be met, existing infrastructure cannot be overlooked. Over the last two decades, global crude steel production capacity has more than quadrupled, with China accounting for three-quarters of the increase and developing nations accounting for around 85 percent of total capacity today. Because of this fast expansion, the worldwide blast furnace fleet is very young, with an average age of about 13 years2, or less than a third of the normal life of these units. These and other steel sector assets, if run until the end of their normal life under present conditions, may produce about 65 Gt CO2 in cumulative emissions. This would deplete the majority of the CO2 budget available for a long-term transformation in the sector, leaving little room for the capacity expansions that would be necessary in the coming decades.
Governments must assist in speeding up the process.
Governments will play a key role in ensuring that the iron and steel sector transitions in a sustainable manner. Policy portfolios will be different, but the following suggestions are a good place to start for those looking to make a difference and speed up the transition:
- Establish a long-term and increasing signal for CO2 emission reductions.
- Manage existing assets and near-term investment.
- Create a market for near-zero emissions steel.
- Support the demonstration of near-zero emission steelmaking technologies.
- Accelerate material efficiency.
- Increase international co-operation and ensure a level global playing field.
- Develop supporting infrastructure for near-zero emission technologies.
- Track progress and improve data collection.
With this blog, we have tried to show you how energy and carbon intensive the steel sector of India is. By adopting solar, not only CO2 emission can be lowered but at the same time how much load can be shifted from the traditional power generating sources of India.
How Can We Help?
Hope this information about “Solar Solution For Steel Industry” helps you to design your solar solution for the steel production mill as per your requirement.
If you are planning to start a solar business or install a solar solution, you can connect with Ornate Solar to get the best assistance with the best prices for solar panels and inverters. We are the official partner of Canadian Solar panels & Renewsys solar panels in India. We are also the official distributor of SolarEdge inverters with DC optimizers, Enphase microinverters, Fronius On-Grid Inverters, and Havells solar inverters in India.
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