https://www.greencarcongress.com/2021/1 ... steel.html
BNEF: steel industry set to pivot to hydrogen in green push; additional $278B for clean capacity and retrofits
Steel production could be made with almost no carbon emissions through $278 billion of extra investment by 2050, according to a new report from research firm BloombergNEF (BNEF). Hydrogen and recycling are likely to play a central role in reducing emissions from steel production. Steel is responsible for around 7% of man-made greenhouse gas emissions every year and is one of the world’s most polluting industries.
Government and corporate net-zero commitments are pushing the steel industry to cancel out its emissions by 2050. Efforts to decarbonize steel production are central to the net-zero aspirations of China, Japan, Korea and the European Union.
The report “Decarbonizing Steel: A Net-Zero Pathway” outlines the path to making profitable, low-emissions steel and describes how a combination of falling hydrogen costs, cheap clean power, and increased recycling could reduce emissions to net zero, even while total output increases.
By 2050, green hydrogen could be the cheapest production method for steel and capture 31% of the market. Another 45% could come from recycled material, and the rest from a combination of older, coal-fired plants fitted with carbon capture systems and innovative processes using electricity to refine iron ore into iron and steel. This would be a major shift in the type of furnaces and fuels used to produce steel.
Today, around 70% of steel is made in coal-fired blast furnaces, with 25% produced from scrap in electric furnaces, and 5% made in a newer, typically natural gas-fired process known as DRI—direct reduced iron (earlier post). Converting a significant portion of the fleet to hydrogen would require more DRI plants and more electric furnaces. Blast furnace production would fall to 18% of capacity in this scenario.
The steel industry cannot afford to wait for the 2040s to start its transition. The next ten years could see a massive expansion of steel capacity to meet demand in growing economies, such as India. Today’s new plants are tomorrow’s retrofits. Commissioning natural gas-fired plants could set producers up to have some of the lowest-cost capacity by retrofitting them to burn hydrogen in the 2030s and 2040s. But continuing to build new coal-fired plants will leave producers with only bad options toward a net-zero future by 2050.
-- Julia Attwood, head of sustainable materials at BNEF and lead author of the report
In order to achieve this transformation, there are five key actions for the sector to consider, according to the report:
Boost the amount of steel that is recycled, particularly in China;
Procure clean energy for electric furnaces;
Design all new capacity to be hydrogen or carbon capture-ready;
Begin blending hydrogen in existing coal- and gas-based plants to lower the cost of green hydrogen; and
Retrofit or close any remaining coal-fired capacity by 2050.
Producing green steel from hydrogen and electric furnaces will require massive amounts of clean energy, and a shift to higher grades of iron ore. This could change where most steel is made, or shake up the mining industry.
Russia and Brazil both have access to high-quality iron ore reserves and to abundant clean power. Moreover, Brazil is expected to have one of the lowest costs for hydrogen production by 2030, according to research by BloombergNEF. South Africa and India have good iron ore reserves and the potential to produce a large amount of low-cost clean power. The world’s largest iron ore producer, Australia, however, currently produces lower grade ores, and could lose its number one place in the supply chain, if it does not invest in equipment to upgrade its product.
China will continue to play a pivotal role. Currently home to 57% of the world’s steelmaking capacity, its path to lower emissions will set the direction for the industry as a whole. The Chinese steel industry intends to focus first on increasing recycling and energy efficiency before adopting early-stage technologies like hydrogen and carbon capture.
The global steel industry is poised to begin a titanic pivot from coal to hydrogen. Green hydrogen is both the cheapest and most practical way to make green steel, once recycling levels are ramped up. This transition will cause both great disruption, and great opportunity. Companies and investors don’t yet appreciate the scale of the changes ahead.
—Kobad Bhavnagri, head of industrial decarbonization at BNEF
The support that policymakers provide for industrial decarbonization could also be a deciding factor for steelmakers. Subsidies for key enabling technologies, such as the hydrogen and carbon capture tax credits in the US’s pending Build Back Better Bill, green steel procurement mandates for the public sector, such as the Industrial Deep Decarbonization Initiative announced at COP26, or rising carbon prices, like those in the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme, could all help green steel to compete with fossil-fuel based production, the report said.
BloombergNEF estimates that new clean capacity and retrofits for lower emissions will cost the steel industry an additional $278 billion compared to business-as-usual capacity growth.
This is a relatively modest figure, compared to the $172 trillion estimated by BNEF to decarbonize the global energy sector. Most of the costs to make green steel come from operations, rather than capital costs.
Reducing the cost of green hydrogen is thus critical, and BNEF estimates that these should fall more than 80% by 2050 to under $1/kg in most parts of the world. Green recycling is also a cost-effective and immediate solution. Steel recycled using 100% clean electricity would only require a 5% premium to match costs for today’s recycled material. By 2050, with lower clean power costs, this premium could shrink to less than 1%.
https://www.greencarcongress.com/2021/1 ... attle.html
Renewable hydrogen fuel being studied for the Port of Seattle
Two studies—led by a team from Seattle City Light, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), and Sandia National Laboratories—are exploring the potential of shifting from fossil fuel to clean hydrogen as fuel to power medium-and heavy-duty vehicles.
The studies will assess the issues associated with scaling up hydrogen infrastructure large enough to serve the Port of Seattle’s maritime-related and electrical grid uses. . . .
These efforts are supported by two awards from the US Department of Energy (DOE) totaling $2.12 million to help meet emission reduction goals set by Seattle City Light and the Port of Seattle. The study team also includes partners at The Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA) and PACCAR/Kenworth.
Supported by DOE’s Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office under the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, the studies include:
Analytic Framework for Optimal Sizing of Hydrogen Fueling Stations for Heavy Duty Vehicles at Ports – A study exploring the potential of shifting from fossil fuel to clean hydrogen as fuel to power medium-and heavy-duty vehicles, including heavy equipment such as forklifts, drayage trucks and even cranes. The team is also exploring the concept’s scalability if future demand for hydrogen increases, including the potential to use the energy stored as hydrogen to power cruise or cargo ships while they’re being loaded and unloaded. ($1.35 million DOE award, $150,000 City Light = $1.5 million project total)
Large-scale Hydrogen Storage – Risk Assessment Seattle City Light and Port of Seattle – A study assessing the risks and benefits associated with scaling up clean hydrogen infrastructure large enough to serve multiple maritime-related and utility uses. Hydrogen at this larger scale could be used for propulsion for tugboats, commercial fishing vessels and passenger ferries and accommodate a significant portion of drayage trucks and cargo handling equipment serving the Port. This research and future work will likely shed light on what it will take to use clean hydrogen as a fuel source for larger ships too. ($770,000 DOE award, $185,000 City Light, $145,000 Port of Seattle = $1.1 million total).
Unlike coal and oil, hydrogen can be used to store renewable energy in a simple, sustainable cycle. This hydrogen is produced by using clean and renewable energy (such as hydroelectricity, solar and wind) to power an electrolyzer, producing pure hydrogen and pure oxygen. The versatile hydrogen that is produced can then be stored, used as fuel or converted back to electricity by a fuel cell, creating a backup system to power critical loads or support the electric grid. This flexibility supports resiliency, which is an essential component of the design being studied to ensure that the system could help to support port operations during an extreme event that causes disruption to the grid.
The hydrogen fuel can be stored in tanks for weeks to months with minimal energy loss, which may not be possible with short-duration energy storage methods such as batteries. This makes hydrogen a good solution for decarbonizing some energy loads that aren’t ideal for battery energy storage.
The stored hydrogen can power vehicles ranging in size from light-duty trucks to heavy equipment at ports such as forklifts, drayage trucks and even cranes. The team is also exploring the concept’s scalability if future demand for hydrogen increases, including the potential to use the energy stored as hydrogen to power cruise or cargo ships while they’re being loaded and unloaded.
Further, PNNL and Sandia experts will contribute expertise to help evaluate all the considerations needed to ensure future clean hydrogen use can be safely stored and handled while meeting the latest safety standards. . . .
The team is projecting a two-year timeframe to produce the final project recommendations. City Light, PNNL and Sandia National Laboratories will continue to provide updates as significant milestones are met.