Iron & steel

Driven by population and GDP growth, global demand for steel has been growing strongly in recent years and is expected to continue to increase, especially because of economic expansion in India, ASEAN countries and Africa, even as demand in China gradually declines.

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Key findings

Energy demand and intensity in iron and steel, 2000-2017

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The steel sector remains heavily reliant on coal

In 2017, the energy intensity of crude steel fell by 2.2%, compared with an average 0.7% annual decline from 2010 to 2016. While the 2017 improvement is positive, it resulted from increased scrap-based production and energy efficiency improvements, rather than from a transformative change towards low-carbon steel production methods. The steel sector is currently highly reliant on coal, which supplies 75% of energy demand. The energy intensity of crude steel needs to decline by 1% annually during 2017‑30 to be on track with the Sustainable Development Scenario.