Steelmakers unconfident of “absolute cap” on energy use


Steel-factoryThe European Commission has called on member states to make energy savings of 30 per cent by 2030, but European steelmakers are uneasy at the thought of an “absolute cap” on energy use.

An EU steel body has welcomed the European Commission’s communique last week on energy efficiency. This put forward plans for a 30% energy saving target. But the body EUROFER warned a cap on energy consumption would be the “wrong signal”. A cap could even “hamper innovation”, it suggested, because improvements such as anti-corrosive coating only come with higher energy use. Gordon Moffat, Director General at EUROFER said: “In industry, increasing energy efficiency means reducing the amount of energy needed for the same process or product, such as increasing energy productivity. On the contrary, an absolute reduction of energy consumption would provide the wrong incentive to consume less and risk capping future growth prospects instead of ‘being more efficient’.” He said the EU should develop more risk financing for industrial large scale demonstration projects of new energy efficient technologies.

Europe’s steel industry produces around 170 million tonnes of steel each year according to the trade group.