Iron and steel production is one of the largest and most important commodity sectors in the global economy, accounting for more than $2.5 trillion of sales and tied to millions of jobs around the world. The 1.8 billion tons of iron and steel made every year also contribute to global warming, accounting for more than 6% of global greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change. Reducing emissions from this sector is a significant challenge, made more difficult because existing facilities will run for another 30-40 years on average and half the associated emissions are tied to the chemistry of iron production. Options to replace fuel and heat sources and reduce associated byproduct emissions are limited or expensive, and potential new solutions are not yet commercially available.
The Center on Global Energy Policy hosted an event to explore the findings of new peer-reviewed research published in Joule, “Low-Carbon Production of Iron & Steel: Technology Options, Economic Assessment, and Policy Options,” focused on the dynamic landscape of net-zero energy systems in heavy industry. The research examines four potential approaches to decarbonizing hard-to-abate sectors like iron and steel production: zero-carbon hydrogen, biomass, electrification, and CCS; and assesses the current, likely and projected costs.
- explored the specific technology options that can serve to reduce or remove emissions from U.S. and global iron and steel production;
- provided techno-economic comparisons of options, including levelized cost impacts of technology on production costs; and
- explored policy priorities and explicit policy recommendations based on our findings.
This webinar featured a short presentation by Dr. Julio Friedmann, CGEP Senior Research Scholar, and Zhiyuan Fan, CGEP Research Associate, followed by a moderated discussion with leaders in industry, technology, policymaking and government.
- Dr. Julio Friedmann, Senior Research Scholar, Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia SIPA
- U.S. Representative Sean Casten (IL-06)
- Roxanne Brown, International Vice President at Large, United Steelworkers
- Tom Dower, Vice President, Public Policy, LanzaTech
- Dr. Paula Gant, Senior Vice President, Strategy & Commercialization, Gas Technology Institute
- John Larsen, Director, US Power and Energy, Rhodium Group and Non-Resident Senior Associate, Center for Strategic and International Studies