To decarbonise the steel sector and meet the world’s climate targets, manufacturers are turning to wind energy.
Renewable energy technologies are in fact called to play a crucial role in limiting the impacts of climate change. However, whether it’s tidal, solar, geothermal or wind, all of these renewable energy sources require large amounts of steel in their production.
Steel is a fundamental element for betting on a more sustainable economic model, but, first of all, it is necessary to lower the environmental impact of this material.
A domino effect for sustainability
Wind turbine manufacturers and wind farm operators are looking at ways to decarbonise their purchases and create “cleaner” wind energy.
Low-emission steel provides a means to significantly reduce a project’s carbon footprint, and steel producers are increasingly incorporating renewables into their energy mix.
At the same time, sustainable steel production can facilitate the transition to renewable energy; this dynamic would trigger a real “virtuous circle’.
A wind farm in Argentina
There are several projects in the pipeline to promote the sustainability of the steel and wind energy sectors.
Tenaris is looking to invest $190m for the construction of a wind farm in the Buenos Aires province of Argentina. The site is a high wind zone that will power 24 turbines, generating a total of 509GWh electricity production per year.
The wind farm, expected to become operational in the second half of 2023, is planned to supply nearly half of the company’s electricity requirements for its plant near Buenos Aires. This will contribute to Tenari’s plan of reducing 30% of CO2 emitted per tonne of steel by 2030.
Wind to power the US plant
In the American midwest is located the Nucor’s micromill, which is set to be the first steel plant in the US to run on wind energy. High wind areas like this present an opportunity for any energy-intensive industry to meet ambitious sustainability goals. The steel producer has signed a 10-year contract with Evergy that will mean 55MW of energy from a new $250m wind farm in Kansas.
The combination of wind and solar energy in India
By changing continent, we find further solutions for sustainable steel. In India, ArcelorMittal is planning a wind-solar mix that will provide continuous power for steel production.
The site will provide power to the plant run by ArcelorMittal’s Indian joint venture company with Japanese manufacturer Nippon Steel, lowering costs and reducing emissions.
With whole lifecycle thinking and developments in the wind energy industry, steel production should be less carbon intensive, cheaper and more effective.