Getting back to basics and the three Rs: reliability, resilience, and recycling
Secure and resilient supply chains are a critical requirement for successful industries and it is only when problems arise that their true value is appreciated.
Throughout the global pandemic the lead and lead battery industries worldwide have proved both resilient and reliable in continuing to manufacture essential products.
The lead industry’s primary and recycled lead production capability combined with the battery industry’s advanced manufacturing plants have ensured that business has continued with minimal interruption.
And it is this level of resilience that sets both industries apart as demand for battery energy storage continues to grow and as legislators and policy makers focus their attention on resilience.
In Europe this approach, known as strategic autonomy, is a pillar of the green recovery plan. Meanwhile in the US, the Biden administration has issued an executive order to conduct an urgent review of critical supply chains in a bid to “get ahead of the business of reacting to supply chain crises” as one official put it.
The US will also conduct annual supply chain resilience reviews for sectors including transport and energy.
The lead and lead battery value chains in both Europe and North America are deemed essential given they support a vast array of important – often critical – products and services from cars and trucks to back-up power for hospitals and telecoms networks.
And as almost all lead batteries collected at the end of their life are recycled, with new batteries typically containing more than 80 per cent of recycled materials, they tick all the boxes for the three Rs: reliability, resilience and recycling.
Image: Boliden lead bars. Photo credit: Stefan Berg