In a changing world, many nations are moving away from traditional sources of energy like fossil fuels. The new opportunities are coming in green sources of energy, and the uptick in those markets is obvious.
But no economic sector exists in a vacuum. What happens anywhere in the economy can have impacts elsewhere in the economy. And despite the fact that green energy is a very new industry, it is having a positive effect on some very well-established industries.
The most obvious one is steel. When we think of that industry, we imagine huge vats of molten steel being handled in coal-fired plants. But that image is largely fading as the industry builds momentum from the advent of new energy solutions.
Some of this growth is from consumer demand, but government policy has certainly accelerated it. The various measures implemented by the government, along with that powerful voice of a population wanting to shrink its carbon footprint, are building a greater demand for steel to power the green energy industry. There are several areas where this is taking place.
The power to choose is critical in a capitalist market. Yet most utilities have typically been the textbook example of a monopoly, with no options about which provider to choose. You could read about a power provider in another area that’s cheaper and greener than your local provider, but you would have no way to get your power from them.
That has changed, at least in some states. They have deregulated their markets, allowing customers to choose whatever provider best suits their budget and other needs. If you like the way TXU energy does business, you can choose them. You have the freedom to go through any company in the market.
What’s the impact of this on the steel industry? The answer is in transmission. The opportunity to send their power to other parts of the state means these companies will need to build lines to carry their power elsewhere. Those heavy systems take lots of steel.
New Generation Techniques
Of course, those greener providers are creating their electricity without such reliance on fossil fuels. They’re doing it with solar power, wind, nuclear, and hydroelectric generation systems. All of those systems have either been created or modified in recent years.
The results for the steel industry are obvious. New structures at hydroelectric dams, nuclear plants, and their associated transmission networks, along with the windmills and resulting equipment for wind systems, are all heavy constructions that must be built out of durable materials. Steel is the only substance that can stand up to the demands of the heavy equipment involved in power generation, so every new plant is some new steel put to work.
New Consumer Products
In some places, consumers are taking green energy into their own hands. Their state hasn’t deregulated electricity markets, or maybe they aren’t content with the generation techniques by their provider. Whatever the case, they’re trying other options to do what they can do to save money, reduce their dependence on the grid, and to favor power providers that are trying to create less pollution.
These options come in lots of forms, but they include things like wood-powered home furnaces, solar panels, and generators. All of these items, like anything built to handle heavy equipment, must be sturdy and durable, so many of the home products for green power are building a demand for steel as well.
No matter how many years steel has been around, it remains relevant and useful in a variety of applications. It booms when the economy booms, and it busts when the economy busts. Right now the green economy is in a real boom, with lots of consumers trying to reduce their carbon footprint. The products and construction that result from that activity have quickly built a stronger market for steel.
Powered by Facebook Comments