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04 May 2021, 12:08
Charlotte Nijhuis

Germany to spend additional 5 bln euros on decarbonising steel industry

Clean Energy Wire / Der Spiegel

The German government will spend an additional five billion euros on the climate-friendly restructuring of the country’s steel industry between 2022 and 2024, economy minister Peter Altmaier announced during a meeting with steel industry representatives. The money will flow to funding decarbonisation programmes, a hydrogen project and a pilot project for climate protection contracts. “As the sector with the largest share of greenhouse gas emissions in industry, it has a special responsibility in climate protection,” Altmaier said. In 2018, the German industry emitted a total of 58.6 million tonnes of CO₂ from the production of 39.7 million tonnes of crude steel, according to the ministry. Altmaier estimated the total investment required for the conversion to CO₂-free steel production in Germany at 35 billion euros, of which ten to twelve billion could come from public funds over the next 30 years, Der Spiegel reports. The exact amount depends on "when exactly the goal of climate neutrality has to be achieved," Altmaier said with regard to last week’s climate law ruling of the country’s top court. The faster the conversion takes place, "the higher the incurred costs will be in a shorter period of time.”

In the summer of 2020, the German government presented a strategy that aims to ensure climate-friendly steel production in the future. The strategy falls in line with a broader set of measures to decarbonise Germany's industry and facilitate the breakthrough of hydrogen as a key component of the energy transition and an "elixir of life" of a future-proof steel industry.

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