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Podcast / Audio

58. Fuel Switch or Fuel Fix for Steel and Cement? - Redefining Energy podcast

image credit: Credit: Redefining Energy
Laurent Segalen's picture
CEO Megawatt-X

Laurent is a Franco-British financier, founder of Megawatt-X, the London-based global platform for Renewable Energy Assets. For the past twenty years, Laurent has been trading and managing...

  • Member since 2019
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  • Sep 15, 2021 10:35 am GMT
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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 (https://www.linkedin.com/in/dolf-gielen-852ab514/), 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

- 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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Thank Laurent for the Post!
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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Sep 15, 2021

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.

This is an interesting place to start-- obviously the economics have made it challenging, because of how ubiquitous these materials are and the impact rising prices would have on industries everywhere. Hopefully as green cement tech, particularly using carbon sequestration to create these building materials, becomes more common, they can then be incentivized via such economic mechanisms as carbon taxes

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