The jury stays to be out on the long running health of the US steel industry; however, one factor appears sure: if steelmaking has any prospects for fulfillment within the coming years, it is going to be on the coattails of the nation’s wind power sources. Within the newest improvement, the US-Nordic agency SSAB has introduced plans to transform its international amenities to make “fossil-free” metal, together with its two crops in Iowa and Alabama.
The Montpelier plant at present takes in about 1.4 million tons of scrap yearly and churns out new metal coil and plate for heavy equipment, ships, wind towers, and rail automobiles, amongst different end uses, together with different duties within the metallurgical area
In case you caught that factor about wind towers, that’s important. In a press meet asserting the brand new fossil-free plans, SSAB makes it clear that main metal customers — together with wind power builders — need to decarbonize their provide chains.
SSAB already has a head begin on the fossil-free monitor in Iowa, the place a copious quantity of wind power is on the market to energy the electrical-arc furnace that varieties the guts of the metal recycling course of.
In accordance with the corporate, the Iowa facility will run on 100% renewable vitality by 2022, which can come primarily from wind farms below the purview of MidAmerican Power.
On the bright side, Alabama is the second-largest producer of hydropower in any state east of the Rockies, which implies that renewable electrical energy might nonetheless be in play whatever the wind and solar lag.
CleanTechnica is reaching out to SSAB for more particulars on its plans for renewable power in Alabama, so keep tuned for more on that.
In the meantime, the massive query for wind builders and different corporations seeking to decarbonize their provide chains is what to do about decarbonizing virgin metal.
SSAB has a solution for that, too. The corporate has partnered with LKAB and Vattenfall in a steelmaking undertaking in Sweden that replaces coking coal with hydrogen.
As for the irony of the entire state of affairs, that’s fairly clear. President Trump rolled into the workplace with a pledge to rebuild the US metal business; however, he has additionally made clear that he’s not a fan of clean energy.
The Commander-in-Chief’s antipathy toward wind turbines is especially well-known, presumably associated with a bad experience with wind turbines in Scotland.