A “Green Steel” Initiative

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Alun Thomas shares a short post on the “green steel” initiative in the UK. 

The first consignment of “Green Steel” i.e., steel produced without consuming coal, just shipped to Volvo. This is one of many such initiatives 

The EU is exploring extending its Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) to the steel industry, levelling the playing field and ensuring that Green Steel has competitive advantage over conventional steel via its emissions trading system, whether that steel is imported or manufactured in the EU.

Cumbria County Council approved the construction of Woodhouse Colliery in 2020. After some delay, UK Government called it in for review. This is about coking coal used to make steel, and not about coal to fuel power stations. Could a green light for a coal mine therefore be reconciled with the nett zero commitment?

There were three arguments for the project to go ahead as reported by Mining Technology. My observations in italics.

The new mine displaces coking coal imported from the USA with a nett CO2 reduction. The savings from reduced transportation are trivial relative to the saving by switching to green steel.

There is currently no alternative to the use of coking coal in steel production. But there will be well within the lifetime of this mine.

It is good for the local economy. There must be better ways to create much needed jobs in Cumbria than those that harm the planet.

Back in 2014, when this project was first announced, the arguments for the project may well have seemed sound to most people. It is a sign of how quickly the world is changing, and why it is hard to change it more quickly, that sentiment has moved against it. Not enough to kill it dead – but painfully, in instalments.

 

Read the full post, A new coal mine! Or not?, on ThemaConsultancy.com.