The efforts for finding the alternate fuel are going on for last many years. If we look back, last 40 years saw a steady rise in the consumption of fossil fuels like oil, coal. The oil deposits in the Middle East region changed the fortune of many countries in that region. The infrastructure growth happened in this region was possible only because of the earnings through the oil trade. Today also, many such projects are being funded in a similar way.
Last few years, there has been an exhaustive brainstorming and research by scientific community over the issue of alternative sources of energy. A lot of breakthrough technologies were developed in the areas of solar and nuclear energy, which are supposed to be green energy sources. They do not emit poisonous gases like in the case of a thermal power plant or a oil refinery.
These developments may seem far away from iron and steel industry but it is far from the truth. Our industry will be directly impacted by these developments. Firstly, the global oil demend may not rise in coming years. Infact it may reduce a bit. This situation may depress the oil prices or atleast prevent any rise. This will have an adverse effect on liquidity of many countries and will not only slow down the economic wheel but also slow down the pace of infrastructure development in many regions. This will obviously reduce the steel demand. Secondly, when electric vehicles become popular and affordable, their steel requirement may come down drastically. The body may be made by composite material and today’s complicated engine using numerous steel components may be replaced by a simpler version.
These are my thoughts on what may happen on a long term basis and not in near future. Nobody can exactly predict the future but can imagine visualize certain situations. One has to take these thoughts in that spirit !