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Iron & steel

Driven by population and GDP growth, global demand for steel has been growing strongly in recent years and is expected to continue to increase, especially because of economic expansion in India, ASEAN countries and Africa, even as demand in China gradually declines.

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Key findings

Direct CO2 intensity of steel production in the Net Zero Scenario, 2018-2030

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Innovation will be crucial to decarbonise iron and steel production

The direct CO2 intensity of crude steel production has been relatively constant in the past few years. In contrast, in the Net Zero Emissions by 2050 Scenario it should fall an average 4% annually between 2020 and 2030. Achieving this reduction and maintaining it after 2030 will not be easy. Potential for energy efficiency improvements will likely soon be exhausted. Thus, innovation in the upcoming decade will be crucial to commercialise new low-emissions processes, including those that integrate CCUS and hydrogen, to realise the long-term transformational change required. Governments can help by providing RD&D funding, creating a market for near-zero-emissions steel, adopting policies for mandatory CO2 emissions reductions, expanding international co‑operation and developing supporting infrastructure.
Our work on Iron & steel

The IETS TCP focuses on energy use in a broad range of industry sectors with significant potential for emissions and cost savings. The IETS TCP work programme ranges from aspects relating to development of processes and energy technologies, to overall system analysis and energy efficiency in industry sectors.