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Steel and Energy
The energy sector is expected to be a strong source of steel demand over the next 10 years, particularly as the nation’s energy infrastructure is further developed. Potential steel demand in new and expanding energy markets an estimated 40 metric tons/MW for steel intensity in the nuclear market.
Projections for steel demand if wind power reaches 6% of the U.S. Energy supply by 2020 is for as much as 13 million tons of steel.
The average high-voltage transmission tower includes about 40,000-60,000 pounds of steel. The amazing metallurgical properties of steel allow it to be recycled continually with no degradation in performance, and from one product to another. Steel is the most recycled material. Steel is the engine that drives the recycling of many consumer goods as can be seen by the 92.5 percent recycling rate of automobiles, the 90 percent recycling rate of appliances and the 72 percent recycling rate of steel packaging. For more information on the industry’s steel recycling accomplishments.
Transmission wire contains steel. For a 1455 ACSR, weight per 1,000 ft. is approximately 1,600 lbs., with the weight from steel at 270 lbs. Demand is growing for electrical steels to serve this market.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently released a report titled “20 Percent Wind Energy by 2030.” The DOE identified in this report transmission limitations as a chief roadblock to realizing the enormous economic, environmental and energy security benefits of obtaiing 20% of our elecricity from the wind.
The production of natural gas from the Marcellus Shale formation produces a clean-burning, domestic energy source in an environmentally sound manner. Natural gas producers already invested more than $4 billion in Pennsylvania in lease and land acquisition, new well drilling, infrastructure development and community partnerships, with an even greater investment expected in the future.