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The Impact of Climate Targets on Future Steel Production – An Analysis Based on a Global Energy System Model


This paper addresses how a global climate target may influence iron and steel production technology deployment and scrap use. A global energy system model, ETSAP-TIAM, was used and a Scrap Availability Assessment Model (SAAM) was developed to analyse the relation between steel demand, recycling and the availability of scrap and their implications for steel production technology choices. Steel production using recycled materials has a continuous growth and is likely to be a major route for steel production in the long run. However, as the global average of in-use steel stock increases up to the current average stock of the industrialised economies, global steel demand keeps growing and stagnates only after 2050. Due to high steel demand levels and scarcity of scrap, more than 50% of the steel production in 2050 will still have to come from virgin materials. Hydrogen-based steel production could become a major technology option for production from virgin materials, particularly in a scenario where Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is not available. Imposing a binding climate target will shift the crude steel price to approximately 500 USD per tonne in the year 2050, provided that CCS is available. However, the increased prices are induced by CO2 prices rather than inflated production costs. It is concluded that a global climate target is not likely to influence the use of scrap, whereas it shall have an impact on the price of scrap. Finally, the results indicate that energy efficiency improvements of current processes will only be sufficient to meet the climate target in combination with CCS. New innovative techniques with lower climate impact will be vital for mitigating climate change.

Countries: Belgium ; Netherlands ; Sweden

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