Many in the steel industry think the future could yet be brighter as well as greener.
Demand is expected to grow: building wind turbines, for example, will require lots of steel.
Britain exports around 8m tonnes of scrap a year, much of which could be fed to EAFS.
Steel companies will nevertheless be loth to invest without two sorts of government help.
One looks more likely than the other.
The first is a hefty subsidy for the switch to greener steelmaking.
Canada, France, Germany, Spain and others are already doling out plenty for both EAFS and hydrogen-powered direct reduction.
Cash is on offer in Britain too: 300m Pounds each, it is said, for Tata and British Steel, coupled with a carbon border tariff, similar to one being concocted in the European Union, to keep out dirtier imports.
But that is less than the companies were asking for a few months ago, looks less generous than elsewhere - the French are putting 1.7bn Euros ($1.8bn) into two sites - and may depend on job guarantees.
The second is much cheaper electricity.
UK Steel, the industry's trade body, calculates that steelmakers in Britain pay far more than those in France and Germany, which face much lower power-grid charges and “policy” costs such as environmental levies.
Switching to EAFS, which use a lot more electricity than old-fashioned furnaces, will make this hurt all the more.
Although the government is providing discounts to businesses to dampen the steep rise in wholesale energy prices, UK Steel complains that British steelmakers can still expect to pay around 60% more in 2023-24 than the Germans, who have been guaranteed a lower price.
Would it matter if the steel industry faded away?
Britain is a small steelmaker these days, 27th in the world, below Austria and Belgium.
It imports more than half of its steel already.
But decommissioning and redundancy are also far from costless.
Steel towns would lose jobs that pay better than the national norm.
And steel, like energy, is something for which few governments like to rely wholly on foreigners.
Steelmaking in Britain has muddled through for years.
It may end up doing so again.