By Karsten Kurz, Director of Environmental Affairs Europe, Exide Technologies
The commitment and leadership shown by the European Union in bidding to achieve a climate neutral future is applauded by the battery industry. The #EUGreenDeal can help us get there.
Under the guidance of the #GreenDeal we will ensure that batteries made in Europe meet the challenge across the whole of their lifecycle, from raw materials sourcing to recycling at the end of their life. Batteries are already identified as one of the key strategic industries and enabling technology, without which we cannot realise this future.
The advanced lead batteries we produce – made in the EU – are already of the highest quality, and they are getting better and better. By investing in research and innovation we are developing technology which is taking them to a new level of performance. Our industry’s batteries are providing energy storage for renewably generated electricity and smart microgrids, enabling clean energy.
While the lead battery is a mainstay of many applications today – from keeping cars on the move to backing up phone networks – they will become more important as part of the complex eco-system required to deliver widescale electrification. But the advantages go beyond the technology itself. The recycling record of lead batteries in Europe is second to none. As an industry we embody and deliver on the principles of the circular economy today, with close to 100% of lead batteries being recycled.
Some of the substances used to make batteries in any technology or chemistry can be harmful if misused, so we ensure our manufacturing and recycling systems are highly advanced, always focusing on protecting employees, the environment and the community.
Above all what we want from the Green Deal is a strong partnership between industry, governments at all levels and the communities we work in. We employ many thousands of people in skilled roles across the EU and many more jobs indirectly, such as in the automotive industry. Maintaining that level of investment and commitment is critical to ensuring a just transition.
The lead battery industry is fully aligned with the objectives of the EU’s Green Deal. And we are integral to making the ambition a reality. We stand ready to charge Europe’s future.