A plan for all seasons
The vast legislative juggernaut that is the EU moved up a gear this week with the latest announcement of its package of measures designed to speed up decarbonisation and electrification. And with it came an updated battery action plan, complete with a commitment to “step-up innovation” by pumping hundreds of millions of Euros into research projects.
Acknowledging the EU is championing the critical role of batteries as a strategically important industry and with it the transformation to renewable energy storage is surely a reason to rejoice? Well yes to an extent. But there’s a rather large elephant in the room, and we need to talk about it. Much of the energy behind this scheme is pointing in the direction of just one battery technology: lithium. As we said in our media comment, which you can read here, the battery action plan and the EU’s battery alliance must move to embrace the potential of all technologies.
If nothing else, the growth in demand for renewable energy storage will outstrip the supply of lithium in the next five to 10 years, which means both key battery chemistries, lead and lithium, will be needed to meet the requirement. Government administrations should not be in the business of picking winners. Their job is to facilitate, nurture, stimulate and create the best possible environment in which industries can thrive and compete.
High-tech research into advanced lead batteries is taking place worldwide
As officials launched their battery action plan, technical experts from lead battery companies were meeting in Madrid at the industry’s innovation hub, the ALABC, putting the finishing touches on a roadmap for the next generation of advanced lead batteries. Their pioneering work is building on the heritage of a technology that is proven to deliver safe, reliable, sustainable and affordable energy worldwide.
We are as committed to decarbonisation and electrification as the EU, and our industry can and will be one of the catalysts for that transformation. It’s time for the policy makers and legislators of Europe to seize the potential of advanced lead batteries and to support the innovation underway in our industry with a plan for all technologies.