Steel is an alloy of iron and about 2% or less carbon and 1% other elements. Pure iron is soft, but carbon greatly hardens it. Adjusting the carbon content changes the properties of steel. Heat-treating, mechanical working at cold or hot temperatures, or the addition of alloying elements may also give superior properties.
Iron and steel are indispensable construction and other purposes materials, being used widely in our everyday activities. They are used as a material input for the automotive industry, energy production and networks, urban and long-distance transport infrastructures, and general mechanical engineering industries.
Steel, by far, is the most widely used material for building the world’s infrastructure and industries, it is used to fabricate everything from sewing needles to oil tankers. In addition, the tools required to build and manufacture such articles are also made of steel.
Steel is also expected to be a key material in the future as changing environments will likely require steel to meet infrastructure and construction needs around the world and to build climate-resilient cities and coastal protection. According to the International Energy Agency, renewable power capacity is set to expand by 50% between 2019 and 2024. This increase of 1,200 GW is equivalent to the current total power capacity of the United States. Solar is expected to account for nearly 60% of the anticipated growth and onshore wind 25%.
Steel will play an important role in all renewables, including and especially solar and wind. Each new MW of solar power requires between 35 to 45 tons of steel, and each new MW of wind power requires 120 to 180 tons of steel.
Given the importance of the use of steel in a wide spectrum of economic activities, this research paper will be focused on providing an overview of current market conditions of steel and a short term forecast.