A report from the Grattan Institute suggests it’s never been a better time for steel manufacturers to invest in renewables.

Steel manufacturing is the perfect industry to benefit from the injection of green power, suggests a new report from the Grattan Institute, replacing traditional coal-fired smelting and arc furnaces with clean-burning hydrogen.

It found that in many instances, excess generation during peaks, which can be used to produce hydrogen for smelting.

Traditionally one of the heaviest emitters of carbon pollution, is believed to be in an opportune position to capitalise on wind and solar. Most steel manufacturing facilities are based in Queensland and New South Wales, both states that have already seen significant investment in energy infrastructure.

WePower, a company that runs a renewable energy marketplace that uses blockchain technology to procure green power, believes its distributed system allows manufacturers to take advantage of multiple renewable energy projects and technologies to maximise renewable energy uptake while minimising cost.

Converting the existing coal-powered plant to wind, water or sunshine is at once technologically feasible and practically achievable through the use of Power Purchasing Agreements, where energy consumption financially supports a local renewable energy project.

Recent advances in technology  can provide steel producers flexibility and access to multiple renewable energy projects, making a tangible environmental impact while buying green energy at competitive rates with full transparency.

“We are delighted to provide businesses with opportunities that can help enhance environmental sustainability and support Australia’s green energy reform” said report author, WePower’s Harley Tempest. “Adoption of WePower practices has seen industry reduce costs by as much as 40% compared to existing market rates. It shifts the control of energy back to the hands of steel producers, allowing for flexibility and reduced costs while being able to hit social and financial targets.”

Furthermore, the report suggests that now is the time for manufacturers to capitalise on historically low energy prices, which tanked at the beginning of 2020. “The market crash earlier this year has presented a perfect opportunity for businesses to capitalise on record low rates, including retail PPAs falling below wholesale rates,” Tempest said.