On a global scale, the steel sector is currently the largest industrial consumer of coal, which provides around 75% of its energy demand. Yet, steel and metals are vital to the success of modern economies. UrbanChain’s Dr Mo Hajhashem explains why the company he co-founded is perfectly placed to change a highly energy intensive industry once and for all.
While emissions from the manufacture of basic iron and steel in the UK have largely fallen year on year since 1990, this high energy intensive industry has been unable to escape its predicament.
As it stands the steel industry is responsible for around 7% of CO2 emissions globally – and 5% in the EU.
It’s clear that not nearly enough renewable energy is currently being used to power the metals industry, says Dr Hajhashem.
It’s a bold statement but I’m going to say it because it’s true. We can solve the energy dilemma that has for too long been a severe headache for the UK metals industry.
On a global scale, the steel sector is currently the largest industrial consumer of coal, which provides around 75% of its energy demand. As we speak the steel industry is responsible for around 7% of CO2 emissions globally – and 5% in the EU. CO2 emissions from the manufacture of basic iron and steel in the UK have largely fallen year on year since 1990, however.
Yet, many experts are predicting a rise in demand for metals and steel – vital to the success of modern economies – over the next decade. The industry, much like many sectors and households across the UK, has been hit with brutal rises in energy bills.
The UK leaving the EU continues to play its part in this, as does Russia’s ongoing war with Ukraine. It leaves a high energy intensive industry as one that has so far been unable to escape its predicament.
Throw in the Net Zero demands and targets that rightly tap us all on the shoulder each day – and we can soon see just how real this dilemma is.
A heightening predicament
What we cannot have is the metals industry remaining in a lose-lose position. This means no one wins, including our planet. To put it simply, a growing worldwide population won’t have needs met and decarbonisation will simply not be achieved.
But this can change, there is a way.
Paving the way for equilibrium in the race against time
As the world’s most vital construction and engineering material, steel is used in all aspects of our lives; washing machines, ships, skyscrapers, bridges, railroads, cars and much more. The industry is scrutinised daily in response to the global climate change political agenda.
What’s clear to us is that not nearly enough renewable energy is currently being used to power the metals industry. According to the International Energy Agency CO2 emissions from the steel industry must drop by 50% by the middle of the century.
It’s ambitious but it has to be this way.
After all, the steel industry produces over 2 billion tonnes of product each year. With 2050 seemingly far away, in this context, it just isn’t. The steel and metals industry is very much in a race against time – a sprint to create low-carbon forms of this supreme material.
Injecting lasting positive change in the metal industry
UrbanChain runs an alternative energy market for renewables called the peer-to-peer exchange. Social Housing, Hospitality, Property, Local Governments are just a handful of the sectors we impact each day. We know we can pave the way for equilibrium in the metals industry. Through our technology, our experience and our proven results changing other industries and sectors, we are particularly well placed.
Driven by blockchain technology and AI, our exchange directly matches and connects the best renewable energy generators to consumers on a half hourly basis.
Our company has received £7.35m in funding to date from Eurazeo, Innovate UK and various government bodies including the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero.
UrbanChain currently manages over 200GWh (gigawatt hours) of power within the exchange. As our power under management increases through expansion into new markets and territories, the metals industry is a firm priority of UrbanChain’s.
How our peer-to-peer energy exchange works
Any consumers of energy in our trading market gain access to a solid base load made up from different sources of renewable generation.
Through direct matching of different renewable generators to your consumption portfolio in each half hour, we make sure of direct access to true renewable energy through long-term PPAs that cover your consumption for many years at agreed prices.
This way we solve the dilemma of decarbonisation and price stability at the same time. The intermittency barrier does not exist. The result is so simple. It equals reductions to energy bills and price stability for any consumer of true traceable green energy – all signed for through our unique P2P PPAs. We can greatly help any entity that has involvement in the metals industry. And the energy dilemma that lives strong in the industry can become a thing of the past
Reducing costs, creating competitive edge while driving forward net zero. Energy – it’s a matter of national security. So let’s solve the UK metals industry dilemma once and for all.