Socio-technical scenarios for energy-intensive industries: the future of steel production in Germany

  • Stefan VögeleEmail author
  • Dirk Rübbelke
  • Kristina Govorukha
  • Matthias Grajewski


Relocating energy-intensive industries to another country may help to meet national greenhouse gas reduction targets. However, this can lead to rising global emissions if production in the country that receives the shifted industries is associated with higher specific emissions (“carbon leakage”). The relocation of industries and thus the possible emergence of carbon leakage depends largely on cost advantages in the country of destination and the level of transport costs. In this study, we consider the example of relocations in the iron and steel industries of China and Germany in order to ascertain effects on CO2-emissions. We develop different scenarios for 2030 using a multilevel cross-impact-balance (CIB) approach and analyse these scenarios in a technology-based cost model. Since all scenarios show high specific cost for reducing global CO2-emissions by preferring crude steel produced in Germany to steel from China, we conclude that avoiding carbon leakage is not necessarily a cost-efficient measure for reducing global CO2-emissions.


Carbon leakage Iron and steel industry GHG reduction Cross-impact balance 


Supplementary material

10584_2019_2366_MOESM1_ESM.docx (344 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 343 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbHInstitute of Energy and Climate Research - Systems Analysis and Technology Evaluation (IEK-STE)JülichGermany
  2. 2.TU Bergakademie FreibergFreibergGermany
  3. 3.FH AachenJülichGermany

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