Redefining Energy podcast

58. Fuel Switch or Fuel Fix for Steel and Cement? - sep21

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Steel and cement with their 2,000 mills and 3,000 kilns, together currently emit 15% of the world’s CO2. So far, they’ve been exempted from carbon trading or carbon pricing, which means no significant reductions have been implemented. But in a 1.5degree and Net Zero scenarios, they start to feel the pressure.

We brought Dolf Gielen, Director Innovation and Technology at IRENA (International Renewable Energy Agency) into the conversation to try to understand why those industries are so hard to decarbonise. And we are focusing the debate on a very simple choice: do you fix the fuel (with CCS – Carbon Capture and Storage of CO2) or do you switch the fuel (with – for example Hydrogen or Biomass)?

There are a lot of hurdles to overcome, such as: bad economics, international competition (especially for steel, not so for cement), and regulators who don’t seem to be very interested.

Some promising options are now on the table, but they will require massive governments interventions.

References:
Engineering with Rosie (Youtube) on CCS technologies: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fC388uNJhUY

An excellent blog on cement emissions:
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/co2-emission-from-cement-industry-whats-best-estimate-claude-lorea/

McKinsey on decarbonizing Steel:
https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/metals-and-mining/our-insights/decarbonization-challenge-for-steel

Dolf Gielen: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dolf-gielen-852ab514/

And, last but not least, a hilarious video explaining really how CCS/CCUS works
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSZgoFyuHC8

Many Thanks to Aquila Capital for supporting the show
https://www.aquila-capital.de/en/

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