POLICY BRIEF: Low-carbon reorientation in steel, oil refining and petrochemical industries

Summary

Authors:

Frank W. Geels
Julian Gregory

University of Manchester

Low-carbon reorientation in steel, oil refining and petrochemical industries

November 2023

Drawing on a two-year research project, this policy brief aims to explain the differences in the low-carbon reorientation of steelmaking, oil refining and petrochemical industries, and to draw policy lessons. It examines three separate industry case study analyses, highlighting how until very recently, the policy focus on CCS and low-carbon hydrogen has suited oil refining and petrochemical industries better than steelmakers. Other important decarbonisation pathways such as electrification, feedstock substitution, or demand reduction receive less attention than they should. The brief suggests that industrial decarbonisation policies need broadening to address other technologies, practical barriers, and social acceptance.

This project was funded by IDRIC (under EPSRC award number: EP/V027050/1). The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of IDRIC. Neither IDRIC nor EPSRC can be held responsible for them.