Eurofer welcomes EU hydrogen strategy

Eurofer has welcomed the launch by the European Commission this week of its hydrogen strategy for a climate-neutral Europe. The Commission set out a plan to integrate a hydrogen energy network by 2050, something that could be beneficial for steelmakers looking to cut carbon emissions through the use of hydrogen.

The association notes that steel produced using hydrogen and clean-energy based methods will be 80-95% less CO2 intensive by 2050 than steel output is today. Costs of production will nevertheless be significantly higher.

“Clean energy at competitive prices is key to achieving the steel industry’s low-carbon goals,” Eurofer director general Axel Eggert tells Kallanish. “The transition to carbon-lean steelmaking will require 400 terawatt hours of CO2-free electricity per year. Of this, nearly 250 terawatt hours is needed for the production of 5.5 million tonnes of hydrogen, which would be used in new processes to make ‘green’ steel. With this, around 5% of the EU’s total CO2 emissions could be avoided.”

Looking ahead, Eurofer notes that, together with the setting up of a hydrogen and green strategy, the European Commission will need to make sure the market recognises the value of low-Co2 steel.

“We need policymakers to ensure there is a market for ‘green steel’ and other such low-carbon industrial products,” says Eggert. “Only in making the low-carbon transition a success across the economy can we harness the EU’s leadership. The benefits to European society of this endeavour will be vast – if the whole transition can be tied together and invested in sustainably.”