Factories and industrial hubs across the UK should cut their emissions by two-thirds over the next 15 years under the government’s new plan for low-carbon industry. It marks the first in a series of strategies expected from the government this year, setting a course for the nation’s 2050 net-zero emissions goal. Industries including steel, cement and chemicals produce 16% of UK emissions and rely on processes that are among the most difficult and expensive to decarbonise. This makes firm sectoral targets, support for new technologies and clear signals to businesses all the more important, experts tell Carbon Brief. This piece highlights key points from the 170-page strategy and areas of policy that still remain unclear.
Carbon Brief 19th March 2021 read more »
Hydrogen: can the lightest gas turn heavy industry green? Thyssenkrupp’s Duisburg plant, Europe’s largest integrated steelworks, is located on the banks of the Rhine in northwest Germany. Around 11 million tons of steel are produced annually in the Hulking plant – together with around 20 million tons of carbon dioxide, which corresponds to almost 2.5 percent of the country’s CO2 emissions. In view of the obligation of the EU states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55 percent by 2030, companies like Thyssenkrupp have to decarbonise quickly. His plan to finally convert the Duisburg ovens to hydrogen is one of the most ambitious in heavy industry. Sectors such as steel, cement and petrochemicals that require extreme heat during production have a huge carbon footprint. According to the World Steel Association, steel is responsible for 7 to 9 percent of all direct emissions from fossil fuels, with each tonne produced causing an average of 1.83 tons of CO2. Cement accounts for around 8 percent of all global emissions.
FT 19th March 2021 read more »
The government’s decision on Thursday to reduce the electric car grant available to households by £500 and restrict it to vehicles on sale for under £35,000 has provoked dismay from the automotive industry – but it has also raised concern about how serious ministers are about creating incentives for households to opt for low or zero carbon technologies.
Independent 19th March 2021 read more »