India has the second-largest steel sector in the world and ranks third in terms of steel consumption. In comparison to many other countries, India’s steel industry is significantly more diverse because of its wide variety of primary and secondary steelmaking facilities of various sizes. Some of the technologies currently in use include the Blast Furnace – Basic Oxygen Furnace (BF-BOF), coal-based Direct Reduction (DR), gas-based DR, Electric Induction Furnace (EIF), and Electric Arc Furnace (EAF).
Because the steel demand is so regionally focused, the Indian steel industry is unique in that it uses coal-based direct reduction. The country’s low-cost local coal reserves, lack of domestic natural gas, and high-quality coking coal all contribute to India’s reliance on this method.
Like every other industrializing country, India depends heavily on its steel industry, which accounts for around 2% of its GDP and employs about 2.5 million people (MoS 2019).
Now let’s have a look at the cement industry of India. The second-largest cement consumer in the world is India. More than 7% of the installed capacity in the world comes from it. India’s infrastructure and building industries have a lot of potential for expansion, and the cement industry stands to gain significantly from it. It is anticipated that several recent initiatives, such as the development of 98 smart cities, will significantly improve the sector.
Cement production in India decreased from 329 million tonnes (MT) in FY20 to 294.4 million tonnes (MT) in FY21. By 2030, the government wants to have at least 40% of the nation’s total power capacity come from renewable sources, dramatically changing India’s current energy balance. This is in keeping with what the nation agreed to do in the Paris Climate Agreement.
Energy consumption by the steel and cement industry of India
With more than 20% of overall energy consumption, the iron and steel industry is the industry’s most energy-intensive sub-sector.
The cement industry is also one of the most energy-intensive industries, and energy expenditures account for around 30–40% of total manufacturing costs. About 10% of the total energy used in the industrial sector is used annually by the cement industry.
Modern cement plants, as opposed to older ones, use between 68 and 93 units of electrical energy to produce a tonne of cement.
Among heavy industries, the iron and steel sector ranks first in terms of CO2 emissions and second in terms of energy consumption. The carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the iron and steel industry total 2.6 gigatonnes (Gt CO2) annually or 7% of all emissions from the world’s transportation of goods. Around 75% of all industrial coal usage is currently accounted for by the steel industry. Heat is produced by coal, and it also produces coke, which is necessary for the chemical reactions that result in the creation of steel from iron ore.
Meeting India’s energy needs could be challenging in the upcoming years as the country’s energy consumption rises as a result of industrial and population growth. However, achieving the energy goals would be considerably easier if the Indian government and business sector placed more emphasis on renewable energy sources, notably solar power plants. The cement industry in India has a lot of promise in this field.
Global challenges include energy security and climate change. Due to its technological and social development, the cement and steel sector is aware of the value of making a fair contribution.
The cement industry is working on growing its renewable energy resources because climate change is a threat to the sector. As a complement to the current power resourcing strategy, this helps to promote the goals of renewable energy, efficient energy use planning, and investment for higher returns.
The cement and steel industries may see large energy savings while simultaneously enhancing the environment by incorporating renewable energy sources like waste heat recovery and solar energy facilities.
Installing a solar power plant in the cement and steel industry has several benefits, such as lower solar plant installation costs, higher fuel costs, an indirect effect on PAT as renewable energy power exceeds the boundary limit, the ability to sell E-Certificate if the reduction target is met, and last but not least, solar power will be a profitable industry in the years to come.