Energy is essential for development. Across the globe around 1.3 billion people continue to live without access to electricity, equivalent to about 18% of the global population. Nearly 97% of those without access to electricity live in sub-Saharan Africa and developing Asia. Giving everyone access will require strong growth in energy supply. Global energy demand is set to grow by 37% by 2040, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).1

Steel is critical for supplying the world with energy- whether based on fossil fuels, nuclear technology or forms of renewable energy- steel is indispensable in producing and distributing energy. Steel also has an important role to play in improving the efficiency of these energy sources.

Steel in Renewable Energy

Solar: Steel plays a key role in converting solar energy into electricity or hot water. It is used as a base for solar thermal-panels and in pumps, tanks and heat exchangers.

Wave and tidal: The steel pile is the main component of a tidal turbine in tidal energy systems. Steel is also used to fabricate wave energy devices. The steel used is formulated to withstand the challenges of the marine environment.

Hydroelectric: Steel is needed to reinforce concrete dams.

Wind: Steel is the main material used in onshore and off-shore wind turbines. Almost every component of a wind turbine is made of steel, from the foundation, to the tower, gears and casings.

Steel in Nuclear and Fossil Fuel-Based Energy:

Mining equipment

Offshore oil platforms

Equipment for oil and gas extraction and production

Natural gas and oil pipelines and storage tanks

Power plants.

Steel in the Production and Distribution of Electricity:

Transformers (magnetic steel core)

Generators and electric motors

Power distribution pylons and steel-reinforced cables.

Steel in Energy Transport and Distribution:

Ships, trucks and trains used to transport fuel. Click here to learn more about the use of steel in transportation.

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