The theme of 2021’s EU Green Week is zero pollution, an ambition supported by the technologies enabled by lead batteries.
By: Karsten Kurz, Director of Environmental Affairs Europe, Exide Technologies
To achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, Europe needs to accelerate decarbonisation and divert away from fossil fuel heavy industries. Implementation of renewable energy and e-mobility will need to increase exponentially. The International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts that to reach net zero by 2050, a massive deployment of available, clean and efficient energy technologies will be needed. By 2030, annual additions of solar and wind will have to reach four times 2020’s record.
All batteries, including those that are lead-based, have a role to play in achieving these ambitious targets through the clean energy and clean mobility solutions that they support. Due to the intermittent nature of wind and solar energy, energy storage will be required. Lead battery energy storage allows for energy efficiency and the integration of more renewable energy sources into electricity systems.
The lead battery industry itself is committed to reducing emissions, a tangible example of which is Exide Group’s recent solar installation in Portugal. Through two solar installations in Castanheira do Ribatejo and Azambuja, Exide Group is powering its battery production and recycling facilities using advanced lead battery energy storage. By pairing solar installations with advanced lead battery storage, this project is providing an option for energy intensive manufacturing facilities to reduce carbon emissions and energy costs. The system is one of the largest self-generation installations backed by energy storage in Europe.
The photovoltaic plant at Exide’s Castanheira facility is paired with advanced lead battery energy storage. Photo credit: Exide
The transition to e-mobility must be accelerated to further reduce emissions. The IEA predicts that Electric Vehicles (EVs) will increase from around 5% of global car sales to more than 60% by 2030.
Independent advisors confirm that lead still will remain the dominant technology for 12V automotive batteries, meeting the starter, backup power and safety functions of EVs and will continue to be so by 2030. Lead batteries will continue to charge the future and their role in clean energy and clean mobility is thus exemplified.
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Cover image: 288 Sonnenschein A600 Gel lead batteries are used for the energy storage system at Exide’s Castanheira facility (photo credit: Exide)