Steel is a material of vital importance to the Indian economy, as with all economies. If the living standards of Indian citizens are to increase, then the use of steel will also need to increase substantially. With this increase in steel demand comes a myriad of challenges and opportunities, not least amongst them the impact this would have on the environment.
At TERI, we have developed a robust understanding of the factors that drive the transition towards cleaner technologies through our Energy Transitions Commission India work programme. Whilst much work has been carried out in the power sector, we are just beginning to understand what such a transition might look like for the highest energy-consuming sectors of the Indian economy; the heavy industry sectors, chief amongst them being steel.
In January 2020, we published a report 1 presenting an initial overview of the Indian steel sector and the options to mitigate its impact on the environment, through reducing emissions.
Our recommendations from this report are organized into three pillars.
Pillar 1: Improve Energy Efficiency, Resource Efficiency and Material Circularity
Today, the Indian iron and steel sector is relatively energy-intensive compared to international benchmarks. However, on reviewing a large number of possible energy-efficiency measures, we have shown that the average plant could lower energy consumption per unit output between 24 per cent and 38 per cent, depending on the production route. This would have important benefits in lowering aggregate energy consumption and CO 2 emissions, where adoption of best available energy-efficiency technologies could reduce overall emissions by up to 15 per cent by 2050, versus the Baseline (where some energy-efficiency measures are adopted).
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