Carbon-Neutral Steel is No Longer a Pipe Dream

Advances in A.I., industrial technology, and renewable energy are driving a futuristic revolution in U.S. manufacturing.

Sustainable steel might sound like an oxymoron, given the fact that more than 7% of global CO2 emissions currently come from steel production. But recent advancements in our renewable energy infrastructure is making it not only possible, but cost-competitive in the United States.

As CNBC reports, North Carolina-based steel manufacturer Nucor has felt the allure of the famously blustery winds of the Midwest, where they plan to open the country’s first wind-powered steel foundry in a partnership with local utility Evergy. Concurrently in Colorado, Xcel Energy is building a massive on-site solar facility to power a steel mill that’s been operating since the 1800s.

Enabling this paradigm shift are new climate-aware policy goals, along with investments in a melting pot of renewable technologies. R&D innovators like the Bill Gates-backed Heliogen have demonstrated A.I.-driven solar beam breakthroughs — with a distinctly a sci-fi vibe — contribute to an optimistic vision of the future of high-tech industry.

Whether the rest of the sector follows these first-movers may help determine the type of planet we live on in the coming centuries.

Read more on CNBC.