28 Aug 2020, 13:22
Julian Wettengel

German economy minister says willing to support climate-friendly steel production

Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung

The German government could provide financial support to the climate-friendly production of steel, economy minister Peter Altmaier told Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung. “I am prepared to support investments in low and zero greenhouse gas technologies in the steel industry with public funds,” he told the newspaper. Overall, about 30 billion euros worth of investments would be necessary by 2050, and projects would need to start soon so that possible support could be approved under EU state aid rules in time, Altmaier said. The minister is scheduled to visit German steelmaker Thyssenkrupp today (28 August).

The steel industry is one of the world’s largest carbon emitters and accounts for around seven percent of global emissions. But decarbonising the sector has barely begun, and it remains one of the most difficult and costly parts of the energy transition. The industry uses carbon to smelt iron ore and, in existing processes, CO2 emissions are unavoidable. The use of “green” hydrogen could make steel production CO2 neutral in the future. Thyssenkrupp has set itself the target of cutting its greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050.

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