Steel plays an important role in many areas of everyday life and is an essential material for important German industries such as automotive engineering. Due to its durability and high recyclability, it will continue to be of great importance in the future. However, steel production is also very energy- and emissions-intensive. The switch to climate-neutral production processes therefore represents both a significant challenge and a major opportunity for industrial climate action.
In the context of the Paris Agreement and the political targets for full climate neutrality in Germany and the European Union, thyssenkrupp Steel Europe AG plans to gradually make its steel production climate-neutral by 2050. To this end, thyssenkrupp is currently working on various technological strands such as CO2 utilisation, H2 injection in the blast furnace and the construction of new direct reduction plants. Building on a life cycle analysis, thyssenkrupp is also working to record and improve the upstream chains of production in terms of their greenhouse gas footprint.
At the same time, demand for green steel products is expected to increase significantly in the near future. However, in many cases it is still unclear what quantities will be required, what the quality requirements and price sensitivity will be, and what the requirements will be in terms of the direct and indirect emissions (still) associated with production.
Against this background, the Wuppertal Institute and thyssenkrupp are working on a joint project to determine how green steel can be introduced step by step in a context of conflicting technical possibilities, climate policy demands and the requirements of the market and other stakeholders. They are analysing which strategies are conceivable, how they can be designed to be credible and acceptable to customers and markets, how they could fit into the political landscape, and which political measures would be essential for their support.