Europe has been urged to develop a new industrial strategy to “champion” all batteries, including lead-acid.
The managing director of the International Lead Association (ILA), Dr Andy Bush (pictured), said the creation of a Batteries Alliance and a ‘batteries action plan’ for the EU, has been “one of the successes of the European Commission”.
However, Bush said it was a “weakness” for EU policymakers to “focus predominantly on one battery technology, omitting to support Europe’s existing strengths in this area and the jobs it generates in our societies”.
Top EU scientists have warned that proposals to restrict the use of lead in the EU risk jeopardising the bloc’s plans to expand energy storage and clean technologies.
The scientists have criticised “ill-judged” attempts to clamp down on lead, after industry leaders said thousands of battery jobs risked being axed in Europe and ‘exported’ to competitors if the European Commission backed moves for an in-effect ban on the use of four lead compounds.
BEST Battery Briefing understands the Commission is advising EU states against adding lead monoxide, lead tetroxide, pentalead tetraoxide sulfate and tetralead trioxide sulfate to Europe’s REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) authorisation list.
Lead battery makers are poised to win a reprieve from European proposals that threatened to kill off the industry by imposing an in-effect ban on the use of four lead compounds, BEST Battery Briefing has learned.
Industry leaders had warned thousands of battery jobs risked being axed in Europe and ‘exported’ to competitors if the European Commission moved to add the compounds— all of which are “irreplaceable in lead battery production”— to the EU’s REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) authorisation list.
However, the Brussels-based Association of European Automotive and Industrial Battery Manufacturers— Eurobat— has told BBB it understands the Commission is not now recommending the inclusion of lead monoxide, lead tetroxide, pentalead tetraoxide sulfate and tetralead trioxide sulfate on the REACH list.
Batteries Europe— a technology and innovation platform “to drive research and innovation, knowledge transfer and competitiveness across the European battery value chain”— has been launched by the European Commission.
The move aims to “spur development of battery projects at both pan-EU and national levels”.
The €1 million (US$1.13m) project will be operated on behalf of the Commission by sustainable energy investment firm InnoEnergy, in cooperation with the EuropeanEnergy Research Alliance (EERA) and the European Association for Storage of Energy (EASE), and supported by project partners Zabala and Clerens Consulting.
In an effort to highlight some of the successes of energy storage projects hitherto and inspire similar ventures henceforth, the European Association for Storage of Energy (EASE) has unveiled a new initiative to showcase “some of the most innovative and inspiring storage projects supporting the energy transition”.
Featured projects include a 6MW/6MWh Engie system in Drogenbos, Belgium that is formed of five separate pilot batteries; a 11.5MW/22.5MWh lithium-ion and sodium-sulfur system in Niedersachsen, Germany; and Highview’s 5MW/15MWh Liquid Air Energy Storage System in Greater Manchester, UK (featured in this week’s BEST Battery Briefing)
More than half of Europe’s used batteries “disappear” without proper treatment because of “outdated” recycling rules and inadequate targets for collecting lithium-ion batteries, according to a damning report.
The study criticises the European Union’s Batteries Directive for lacking “a target or provisions for a monitoring system” to keep track of uncollected batteries— which are said to be fuelling health and safety fears by being dumped with household waste.