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Energy intensity development of the German iron and steel industry between 1991 and 2007


  • Arens, Marlene
  • Worrell, Ernst
  • Schleich, Joachim


The iron and steel sector is the largest industrial CO2 emitter and energy consumer in the world. Energy efficiency is key to reduce energy consumption and GHG emissions. To understand future developments of energy use in the steel sector, it is worthwhile to analyze energy efficiency developments over the past two decades. This paper analyses the development of the specific energy consumption (SEC) (measured as primary energy use per unit of product) in the German steel sector between 1991 and 2007. We found that the total SEC declined by 0.4%/year. Of this 75%, or 0.3%/year, is due to a structural change towards more electric arc furnaces (EAF). Energy efficiency improvement accounts for about 25% of the observed change in SEC, or 0.1%/year. Energy efficiency improvements are found, especially in rolling (1.4%/year). The net SEC of blast furnaces decreased due to increased top gas recovery by 0.2%/year per tonne iron. Improvements in other processes were very limited or non-existent. In basic oxygen furnaces (BOF) net SEC increased due to a 60% decrease in BOF gas recovery between 1993 and 2007. In EAF and sinter plants the SEC remained constant or, respectively, even increased by 9% between 1991 and 2007 per tonne sinter.

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  • Arens, Marlene & Worrell, Ernst & Schleich, Joachim, 2012. "Energy intensity development of the German iron and steel industry between 1991 and 2007," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 786-797.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:energy:v:45:y:2012:i:1:p:786-797
    DOI: 10.1016/

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Porzio, Giacomo Filippo & Nastasi, Gianluca & Colla, Valentina & Vannucci, Marco & Branca, Teresa Annunziata, 2014. "Comparison of multi-objective optimization techniques applied to off-gas management within an integrated steelwork," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 1085-1097.
    2. Arens, M. & Worrell, E., 2014. "Diffusion of energy efficient technologies in the German steel industry and their impact on energy consumption," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 968-977.
    3. Brunke, Jean-Christian & Blesl, Markus, 2014. "A plant-specific bottom-up approach for assessing the cost-effective energy conservation potential and its ability to compensate rising energy-related costs in the German iron and steel industry," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 431-446.
    4. repec:eee:appene:v:209:y:2018:i:c:p:251-265 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:eee:energy:v:143:y:2018:i:c:p:881-899 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Kepplinger, D. & Templ, M. & Upadhyaya, S., 2013. "Analysis of energy intensity in manufacturing industry using mixed-effects models," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 754-763.
    7. Zhang, Qi & Zhao, Xiaoyu & Lu, Hongyou & Ni, Tuanjie & Li, Yu, 2017. "Waste energy recovery and energy efficiency improvement in China’s iron and steel industry," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 191(C), pages 502-520.
    8. Sheinbaum-Pardo, Claudia, 2016. "Decomposition analysis from demand services to material production: The case of CO2 emissions from steel produced for automobiles in Mexico," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 174(C), pages 245-255.
    9. repec:eee:appene:v:218:y:2018:i:c:p:479-493 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. repec:eee:ejores:v:269:y:2018:i:1:p:188-205 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Porzio, Giacomo Filippo & Fornai, Barbara & Amato, Alessandro & Matarese, Nicola & Vannucci, Marco & Chiappelli, Lisa & Colla, Valentina, 2013. "Reducing the energy consumption and CO2 emissions of energy intensive industries through decision support systems – An example of application to the steel industry," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 818-833.
    12. Samet, Haidar & Ghanbari, Teymoor & Ghaisari, Jafar, 2014. "Maximizing the transferred power to electric arc furnace for having maximum production," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 752-759.
    13. Chen, Wenying & Yin, Xiang & Ma, Ding, 2014. "A bottom-up analysis of China’s iron and steel industrial energy consumption and CO2 emissions," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 1174-1183.
    14. Wei, Rufei & Zhang, Lingling & Cang, Daqiang & Li, Jiaxin & Li, Xianwei & Xu, Chunbao Charles, 2017. "Current status and potential of biomass utilization in ferrous metallurgical industry," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 68(P1), pages 511-524.
    15. Honma, Satoshi & Hu, Jin-Li, 2014. "A panel data parametric frontier technique for measuring total-factor energy efficiency: An application to Japanese regions," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 732-739.


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