05 Feb 2020, 13:20
Julian Wettengel

Green hydrogen “elixir of life” of future-proof steel industry – env min

Clean Energy Wire

Hydrogen produced from renewable sources is the “elixir of life” of a future-proof steel industry and the scarce resource should be reserved for industry and air and water transport, said German environment minister Svenja Schulze at the Handelsblatt annual steel conference. “If we want to achieve greenhouse gas neutrality, the use of renewable hydrogen in the steel industry is practically without alternative,” said Schulze, who nevertheless cautioned that amounts available would still be limited for a long time. Schulze called on the steel industry to make climate action a focus today to secure international competitiveness and said decarbonising the business was a century-long task that required billions of euros in investments. "Green steel is the future of our steel industry,” she said.

Pressure is rising fast on industry to join the great decarbonisation race. Many energy-intensive German companies, like chemical giant BASF and steelmaker Thyssenkrupp, have already detailed plans for drastic emission cuts but lack viable business models to implement them. Many of Germany's most energy-intensive industrial companies will rely heavily on hydrogen made with renewable power to make deep emission cuts in the longer term. The government is currently discussing a first draft of a German hydrogen strategy.

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