Steel Will Play a Major Role in New and Expanding Energy Markets

Washington, D.C. –   As President Obama travels to Philadelphia this week to visit a wind turbine manufacturer and to hold an Energy Town Hall meeting, it is important to note that a material that will commonly be required to secure both new and traditional sources of clean energy is steel.

“Steel will play an important and major role in the President’s goal of diversifying the nation’s energy sources,” Thomas J. Gibson, president and CEO of the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), said.  “The average wind turbine and tower, for example, uses over 200 tons of steel,” Gibson said.  “The average high-voltage transmission tower includes about 40,000 to 60,000 pounds of steel, and demand is growing for electrical steels to serve the transmission wire market.   Solar panels also utilize steel, as do steel utility poles that are being used to replace wood poles in a number of regional markets around the country.”

Energy markets are responsible for about seven percent of steel demand in America.  Steel is the most recycled material in the world, more than paper, aluminum, plastic, cement and glass combined. 

“America also has abundant sources of natural gas, a traditional source of clean energy,“ Gibson said, “and steel is required for drilling as well as for pipelines to transport the product for distribution for residential and industrial use.”  He said Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Texas are examples of a few of the states rich in natural gas supply.  

Gibson said the nation’s policies should promote all sources of energy, including oil, natural gas, nuclear, hydro-electric and clean coal carbon capture and storage, as well as renewables like wind and solar.   He said the steel industry favors incentives to promote investment in clean energy projects, rather than being overly restrictive and narrow. 

AISI serves as the voice of the North American steel industry in the public policy arena and advances the case for steel in the marketplace as the preferred material of choice.  AISI also plays a lead role in the development and application of new steels and steelmaking technology.  AISI is comprised of 25 member companies, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and 140 associate and affiliate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry.  AISI's member companies represent approximately 80 percent of both U.S. and North American steel capacity.  For more news about steel and its applications, view AISI’s Web site at
Nancy Gravatt
Vice President, Communications
American Iron and Steel Institute