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Policy and Pricing Barriers to Steel Industry Decarbonisation: A UK Case Study


Global climate targets have highlighted the need for a whole-systems approach to decarbonisation, one that includes targeted national policy and industry specific change. Situated within this context, this research examines policy and pricing barriers to decarbonisation of the UK steel industry. Here the techno-economic modelling of UK green steelmaking provides a technical contribution to analysis of pricing barriers and policy solutions to these barriers in the UK specifically, but also to the broader industrial decarbonisation literature. Estimated costs and associated emissions projections reveal relevant opportunities for UK steel in contributing to national climate and emissions targets. Modelling demonstrates that green steelmaking options have been put at price disadvantages compared to emissions-intensive incumbents and that fossil-free hydrogen-based steel-making has lower emissions and lower levelised costs than carbon capture and storage options, including top gas recycling blast furnace (TGR-BF) with CCS, and HIsarna smelter with CCS. Two primary policy recommendations are made: the removal of carbon pricing discrepancies and reductions in industrial electricity prices that would level the playing field for green steel producers in the UK. The research also provides relevant policy considerations for the international community in other industrial decarbonisation efforts and the policies that must accompany these decarbonisation choices.

Funding source: This work was supported by a grant from the EPSRC Centre for Research into Energy Demand Solutions (EP/R035288/1), for which the authors are most grateful. We also wish to thank the other members of the project team for their support.
Related subjects: Policy & Socio-Economics
Countries: United Kingdom

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