The UK steel industry has long been dependent on coal, which has been a cheap and abundant source of energy for decades. However, in recent years, the industry has come under pressure to move away from fossil fuels and towards more sustainable energy sources. This is because coal is a significant contributor to climate change, and the UK government has set ambitious targets to reduce carbon emissions. In this blog post, we will discuss the measures being taken to support the UK’s two biggest steelmakers to move away from old-fashioned coal.
The Importance of Moving Away from Coal
Coal is a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to climate change. The steel industry is one of the biggest users of coal, as it is used in the production of steel. Moving away from coal is essential for the industry to reduce its carbon footprint and meet the UK’s carbon reduction targets. The government is keen to support the industry in this transition and has introduced various measures to help steelmakers move towards more sustainable energy sources.
The UK’s Two Biggest Steelmakers
The UK’s two biggest steelmakers are Tata Steel and British Steel. Tata Steel is one of the largest steel producers in the world and employs around 8,000 people in the UK. British Steel employs around 4,000 people and is a significant supplier to the construction, rail, and energy sectors. Both companies are under pressure to reduce their carbon emissions and move towards more sustainable energy sources.
Measures to Support the Steel Industry
The UK government has introduced various measures to support the steel industry in its transition away from coal. One of these measures is the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund, which provides financial support for industrial businesses to transition to low-carbon energy sources. The government has also announced a £250 million Clean Steel Fund, which will support the development of new, low-carbon steelmaking technologies.
The Role of Renewable Energy
Renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power are becoming increasingly important in the transition away from coal. The UK government has set a target to generate 40% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030. Tata Steel has already made significant investments in renewable energy, including a wind turbine project in Lincolnshire. British Steel has also committed to investing in renewable energy and is exploring the use of hydrogen as a low-carbon alternative to coal.
The Future of the UK Steel Industry
The transition away from coal is not an easy one, and there are significant challenges to overcome. However, the UK steel industry has shown that it is willing to adapt and change to meet the demands of a low-carbon economy. With government support and investment in new technologies, the industry can become more sustainable and continue to provide jobs and support for communities across the UK.