New trends in industrial energy efficiency in the Mexico iron and steel
Energy use in the Mexican industrial sector experienced important changes in the last decade related to changes in the Mexican economy. In previous studies, we have shown that a real change in energy-intensity was the most important factor in the overall decline of energy use and CO2 emissions in the Mexican industrial sector. Real changes in energy intensity were explained by different factors, depending on the industrial sub-sector. In this paper, we analyze the factors that influenced energy use in the Mexican iron and steel industry, the largest energy consuming and energy-intensive industry in the country. To understand the trends in this industry we used a decomposition analysis based on physical indicators to decompose the changes in intra-sectoral structural changes and efficiency improvements. Also, we use a structure-efficiency analysis for international comparisons, considering industrial structure and the best available technology. In 1995, Mexican iron and steel industry consumed 17.7 percent of the industrial energy consumption. Between 1970 and 1995, the steel production has increased with an annual growth rate of 4.7 percent, while the specific energy consumption (SEC) has decreased from 28.4 to 23.8 GJ/tonne of crude steel. This reduction was due to energy efficiency inprovements (disappearance of the open hearth production, increase of the share of the continuous casting) and to structural changes as well (increase of the share of scrap input in the steelmaking).