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Electrification of primary steel production based on ΣIDERWIN process: simulation on the European power system in 2050

Panel: 6. Deep decarbonisation of industry

This is a peer-reviewed paper.

Morgan Barberousse, EDF, France
Caroline Bono, EDF, France
Anne Debregeas, EDF, France
Matthildi Apostolou, EDF, France


The growing steel industry represents 4% of the total European carbon emissions (EU27). The current coal based blast furnace process used to make primary steel has been widely optimized over the past decades to become as efficient as possible. Because of limited opportunities for further enhancements in the existing process, the decarbonisation of the primary steel industry requires a breakthrough innovative technology.

At the same time, Europe aims to be climate neutral by 2050 and have net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. To contribute towards reaching this goal, the European H2020 – ΣIDERWIN project aims to develop a breakthrough process for the primary steel production, based on electrolysis, as a low carbon alternative to the current blast furnace.

As it is a flexible and electricity intensive technology, ΣIDERWIN’s industrial development in Europe may play a significant role in the European power system in terms of electricity demand, and demand-side response capacity.

This paper focuses on the ΣIDERWIN technology and its contribution to the future European power system. Based on projections of the steel demand in 2050 and the specific energy consumption of this technology, a prospective scenario is simulated in order to assess ΣIDERWIN’s contribution in production and demand balancing, and the benefits to the power system. The methodology for this study and the simulated scenario are presented, and the potential reduction of the CO2 emissions related the flexibility of the ΣIDERWIN technology is assessed. Further steps into the calculation of this potential and the simulation of different scenarios are finally discussed.

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