European countries other than UK had a “clear industrial strategy” that recognised the importance of steel. In Germany, energy subsidies worth 40 times more than in UK were handed over to heavy industries like steel since 2013. The subsidies granted to intensive energy users in Germany was of the value of €9 billion as it raised levies on others to help pay for its transition to renewables. But in the UK, where Tata Steel has in part blamed high energy prices for last week’s decision to put its business up for sale, the government has paid out just £160 million. This is one of the reasons why the steelmakers are in trouble. Last week Tata Steel announced that it wanted to pull out of its entire UK business, putting 15,000 jobs at risk. It mentioned high energy costs alongside the falling price of steel as one of the main reasons.
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