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Home > News > Company News > Warning against clamping down .....

Warning against clamping down on lead in batteries

  • Author:Ella Cai
  • Release on:2018-09-04
Tomorrow, in Vienna, Dr Andy Bush (pictured) of the International Lead Association will warn that proposals by the EC to restrict the use of lead and lead compounds will “jeopardise the entire industry”.

EU officials are considering rules requiring ‘authorisation’ for the key components used in the production of batteries storing 75 per cent of the world’s rechargeable energy.

“We are facing in Europe the very real possibility of regulatory restrictions that could ultimately jeopardise our entire industry,”Bush will argue, “we have to explain to the EU just how much harm this would do not only to this industry but to the Commission’s own energy transformation aspirations to reduce harmful emissions and boost electrification.

“All battery technologies use potentially toxic materials in their manufacturing processes, and singling out lead batteries, which play an essential role in Europe’s economy, is both disproportionate and counterproductive,” Bush will say.

He is also expected to argue that lead batteries should enjoy a level playing field with other technologies supporting the energy transformation and should not face more red tape.

“Attempts to further regulate the production of lead batteries in the EU fly in the face of the Commission’s own energy storage vision and batteries action plan,”Bush will say, “to meet Europe’s rapidly growing demand for battery energy storage in the decades ahead, advanced lead batteries will be required at scale alongside other technologies to support electrification and decarbonisation.

“Decision-makers in Brussels need a more joined-up policy approach so that we can fully support European decarbonisation and electrification plans and make the most of the economic and environmental opportunities presented by energy storage using advanced lead batteries.”

Lead battery manufacturing is already highly regulated in Europe, and the batteries – used extensively in vehicles, industrial applications, and to provide back-up for essential services including hospitals, telecoms and data centres – are sealed units with no risk of exposure to consumers.

More than 99 per cent of lead batteries are collected and recycled, making them one of the most sustainable consumer goods in Europe.

The industry employs more than 20,000 people in manufacturing in the EU across 15 member states, contributing over 5 billion euros to the economy.