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Transforming the European Steel Sector to Net Zero

March 18, 2024 Category: Industry Work Area: Carbon Capture

Steel is a critical component of the energy transition, yet remains one of the most challenging sectors to decarbonise. An important part of the EU’s economy, employing over 300,000 people directly, the industry faces considerable technical and economic challenges as it seeks to reduce the 190 million tonnes of CO2 which contribute 5% of the EU’s annual emissions.

There are growing efforts to shift primary steel production from coal-based production methods to cleaner alternatives using hydrogen, which will depend on the availability of large volumes of low-carbon hydrogen. Carbon capture and storage offers a complementary approach to cutting emissions from the sector in the near term, but significant investment in CO2 transport and storage infrastructure is needed to realise this potential.

Ultimately, a variety of pathways to net-zero steel exist, each with their own risks and challenges. Various options must be explored and supported to ensure the industry’s transformation to climate neutrality takes place at the necessary pace and scale.