Czech steel industry unprepared for EU decarbonisation

(EurActiv, 16 Feb 2024) The Czech steel industry is unprepared for decarbonisation, not only technologically but also financially, making it difficult to implement the EU’s decarbonisation plans, experts say.

Experts polled by the Czech News Agency (CTK), also agreed that the state lacks green electricity, hydrogen and other resources – all elements necessary to meet EU plans to be carbon neutral and effectively achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

There are options for low-emission steel production, including replacing coke with hydrogen as a reducing agent or making steel from scrap in an electric arc furnace.

However, there is not enough scrap to meet all demand. The production process requires large amounts of electricity, the price of which has risen enormously in recent years, Daniel Urban, chairman of the Czech Steel Union, told CTK.

The government of Petr Fiala (ODS) has decided to help the industry struggling with expensive electricity by paying part of the renewable energy levy on its behalf this year.

As far as hydrogen is concerned, the Czech Strategy 2021 states that the operational verification of hydrogen use in industry should start between 2026 and 2030.

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EurActiv, 16 Feb 2024: Czech steel industry unprepared for EU decarbonisation