The Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit has warned that UK is falling behind the rest of Europe when it comes to developing a new green steel sector.
ECIU said “23 hydrogen steel projects are either planned or under way across Europe, including plans to produce hundreds of thousands of tonnes of green steel by as early as next year. The UK is well placed with its long-standing steel industry and research sector and large offshore wind resources which can make clean hydrogen, and stands to secure thousands of jobs and an economic boost from making the switch to green production. But there are no concrete plans for using hydrogen to produce primary steel, and only vague plans for one project to install technology which captures and buries carbon.”
The report said “While a GBP 250 million clean steel fund was launched in 2019 to decarbonise the sector, under current plans the money will not be available until 2023, while there are delays to the hydrogen strategy.”
ECIU head of analysis Dr Jonathan Marshall said “This stark illustration of just how far and fast the UK is falling behind in the race to green steel should be a wake-up call both to ministers and the communities reliant on jobs in the steel sector. Long investment cycles mean that cutting emissions in hard-to-decarbonise sectors must be under way now. This is essential not only if we are to hit climate targets, but also if the UK is serious about creating jobs and industries that are fit for the future. The UK has enviable resources to produce clean hydrogen from renewable energy, using this to underpin a clean steel industry will bring vast economic benefits across the country. Our government just isn’t stepping up to provide UK steelmakers with the support they need, holding back the industry and threatening its future.”
And he warned “EU nations are clearly seeing the opportunities presented by decarbonising their steel sectors; the UK needs to recognise that this is a competitive global market, so sticking with the status quo, or worse, arguing that the sector will remain reliant on coking coal, just doesn’t cut it.”