India’s Council for Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) released a report stating that the Indian steel and cement sectors will require a total capital expenditure of $627 billion to achieve net zero carbon emissions. The report, funded by ‘bp,’ an integrated energy company, suggests that it is feasible to achieve reductions in emissions of 8-25% for steel and 32% for cement without an increase in prices by adopting technologies like waste-heat recovery and energy-efficient systems.
According to the study, the Indian steel industry emitted 297 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in crude steel production in 2021-22, resulting in an average emission intensity of 2.36 metric tons of CO₂ per metric ton of steel output (measured as per metric ton of carbon dioxide per metric ton of steel). This is higher than the world average of 1.89 metric tons of CO₂ per metric ton of steel.
The study also indicates that achieving near-net-zero steel production could cost 40-70% more, depending on the chosen technology, production methods, and the utilization and storage of captured carbon (CCUS).
To expedite the transition to net-zero emissions, the CEEW study recommends the adoption of optimal energy-efficient technologies and incentivizing renewables through minimal or zero transmission charges. It calls on the government to prioritize establishing a CCUS ecosystem and leveraging the pivotal role of hydrogen in achieving net zero emissions, emphasizing this aspect in the next phase of the National Green Hydrogen Mission.