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Lead batteries are key to Europe’s Clean Energy transition

The European Commission has set an ambitious range of targets for increased deployment of renewable energy and increased energy efficiency as part of its drive towards a low carbon future, through policy initiatives such as the Clean Energy for all Europeans package.

The efforts to meet these targets will make clear the critical importance of battery energy storage and in turn trigger a massive increase in demand for battery technologies. Predictions suggest that global demand for electricity storage from stationary and mobile applications will triple from an estimated 4.67 terawatt-hours in 2017 to over 15 terawatt-hours by 2030. A range of technologies will be required to meet this demand and, while lithium batteries will be a key player, the only other technology with the scale and capability to meet this vast unmet need in energy storage is the lead battery.

How lead batteries support the EU’s Clean Energy for all Europeans package

A significant increase in battery energy storage will be required to meet the ambitious goals set by the Clean Energy for all Europeans package – both in terms of renewable energy and energy efficiency. This increased demand cannot be met by one technology alone.

By balancing power grids and saving surplus energy, battery energy storage represents a reliable means of improving energy efficiency and integrating more renewable energy sources into electricity systems. It also helps enhance European energy security and the creation of a well-functioning internal market with lower prices for consumers.

Lead itself enables clean energy in Europe, from ensuring the long-term affordability of solar power systems to providing water protection, longevity and corrosion resistance for offshore wind cables.

Lead batteries have shown significant increase in performance, with a cycle life of up to 5000 cycles-crucial for renewable energy storage applications. Lead batteries also have a very low battery system cost with the average lead battery costing in the range of €130-180 kWh.

Finally, lead batteries have proven reliability and unrivalled safety, developed through over 160 years of use in applications ranging from Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS), to telecoms, to automotive and motive power. This means that lead batteries require significantly fewer safety systems to be built into a renewable energy storage design, reducing the costs and complexity of the set up.

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