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Green steel

GS Paper 1

Syllabus: Geography/ Environment/ Science and Steel


Source: DTE

Context: Intergovernmental organisation International Energy Agency has released a document saying that most net-zero emission (NZE) routes for steel and cement production are not yet commercially available including for ‘green steel’


What is Green Steel?

Green Steel is the manufacturing of steel using renewable or low-carbon energy sources such as hydrogen, coal gasification, or electricity instead of the traditional carbon-intensive manufacturing route of coal-fired plants.


Steel-making process:

What does the document of IEA say?

  • Key technologies such as carbon capture, utilisation and storage for cement and steel industries and hydrogen-based steel manufacturing are still in prototype and demonstration stages.
  • Experience shows that the innovation process usually takes 20 to 70 years from prototype to commercialization
  • Solar and wind energy units require more steel, aluminium and in some cases, cement per unit of capacity than fossil fuel-based generating technologies.
  • Energy resources being concentrated in one geographical area pose a threat to the world’s energy security
  • Currently, China is the dominant producer of solar panels, wind, Electric Vehicle (EV) batteries, electrolysers and heat pumps.
  • Lithium, a key metal for producing electronic vehicles, is mostly concentrated in Australia, Chile and China. Meanwhile, 70 per cent of the world’s cobalt is produced in the Republic of Congo.


Government programmes for green steel:

  • National Hydrogen Energy Mission (NHM) capitalizes on hydrogen for a cleaner alternative fuel option
  • Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry launched Pradhan Mantri Urja Ganga Projectin Eastern India in 2019 to provide gas to all steel plants located in the area

About IEA:

  • The International Energy Agency is a Paris-based autonomous intergovernmental organisation, established in 1974, that provides policy recommendations, analysis and data on the entire global energy.
  • India became an Associate Member (not a full member) of the IEA in 2017. The IEA has released the India Energy Outlook 2021 Report



Mains Links:

  1. Discuss the distribution and changing patterns of the Iron and steel industry in India. (250 Words)
  2. Even after local coal-iron resources are depleted, the steel and heavy engineering industries do not frequently shift their location, why? Analyse.(250 words)


Prelims Links

Which of the following are some important pollutants released by the steel industry in India? ( UPSC 2014)

  1. Oxides of sulphur
  2. Oxides of nitrogen
  3. Carbon monoxide
  4. Carbon dioxide

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1, 3 and 4 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 4 only
(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4

Answer: D