Report shows US industry tops on efficiency, emissions

A recent report has claimed that the US steel industry has the lowest energy intensity and the second lowest carbon emissions compared to its peers. However, this may be linked to the high use of EAF steelmaking. EAFs produce few direct emissions, but have very high electricity requirements, meaning pollution is caused elsewhere. While the US industry has made significant progress in reducing its emissions, its research programmes for new steelmaking technologies are behind those in Europe, Japan and Korea.

SBB 23 March A new report from the US Department of Energy (DOE) suggests the American industry is a leader in energy efficiency and carbon emissions. Its findings are “extremely relevant for current policy discussions,” including EPA regulation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and funding for R&D, says the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI).

The DOE’s report reveals the US is the world leader in achieving the lowest energy intensity per ton of steel produced as compared to steel industries in other nations and it is the second-lowest in terms of CO2 emissions per ton of steel, behind only Korea, Steel Business Briefing understands.

The report “points out the tremendous strides the US steel industry has made to lower its energy intensity and GHG emissions over the past two decades,” notes AISI president Thomas Gibson. That’s just one of the reasons the EPA’s unilateral regulations of GHGs are misguided, the institute points out.

“The DOE report backs up what we have been telling EPA for months – its assumptions for energy efficiency opportunities in the steel industry are unrealistic and inaccurate,” Gibson says. The EPA has said the US steel industry should be able to achieve energy reductions of up to 27% for integrated mills and up to 53% for minimills.

Additional breakthrough steelmaking technologies will be needed to achieve policy goals for energy efficiency and carbon emission reductions, the report concludes, and AISI says this information should be a part of the ongoing budget debate.


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