More recycling is key for Europe to secure the availability of raw materials

More recycling is key for Europe to secure the availability of raw materials

Lead metal and the lead battery value chain in Europe are the perfect examples of both an EU-autonomous material industry and our circular economy. Materials for batteries will be crucial for energy storage and the decarbonisation of Europe.

By: Wim De Vos, Chief Executive Officer, Campine

The COVID crisis has been a wakeup call for Europe. The fear of shortages of critical raw materials during the pandemic have exposed once more the reliance on material imports from countries outside the EU. This emphasizes the need for an exponential development of our EU recycling industry.

An accelerated growth of the EU circular economy will not only secure our material supply chain, but simultaneously make our economy green and prosperous in the post COVID-19 area.

The lead battery value chain in Europe is a great example of an already strategically autonomous EU-centric industry. The EU currently benefits from a secure and reliable lead metal value chain, where almost all recycling occurs in the EU, Lead batteries consistently demonstrate their ability to achieve the circular economy.

The EU lead industry is self-sufficient, we have raw material security and we have a value chain producing one of the most important products for future electrification of the automotive industry as well as the materials essential to store wind and solar energy. Lead is therefore key to both the decarbonisation of the transport sector, and the transition away from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources.

The EU has recognised that economic recovery following COVID-19 can be aligned with achieving the EU Green Recovery deal. The EU Parliament has called on the EU commission to propose a post- COVID-19 recovery and reconstruction package that has “at its core the Green Deal and the digital transformation in order to kick start the economy.” Investing in renewable energy sources and technology will ensure that the economy can kickstart sustainably as it supports jobs and achieves renewable energy targets.

Lead batteries are key to this clean energy transition. The EU is increasingly recognising the importance of batteries to energy storage. Lead batteries, used in solar and wind energy technology, maintain and support the EU’s transition to renewable energy. Lead batteries support increased vehicle hybridisation and electrification, all the way from start-stop technology to full EVs, proving its centrality in the move to decarbonise the transport sector. Lead itself proves its sustainability as it can be recycled infinitely with no loss of quality or performance. It is therefore imperative that the EU recognises lead’s importance in enabling the transition to a low carbon, economically prosperous future.

Read more for our latest blog post about why innovation in the battery industry will enable the EU’s green transition.

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