ILA Blog

Something fishy’s going on in Sweden

 
The European Union is currently consulting on a proposal which could, if supported, restrict the use of lead metal in products.
 
This would be a backwards step with all sorts of unintended consequences for the economy and our way of life.
 
One of the challenges we face is that many decision makers – be they regulators, administrators or politicians – do not know enough about the value of this product and its essential use in our economy, indeed in our day-to-day lives. And they often do not appreciate just how well regulated and sustainable our product is already.
 
Reality is often skewed by perfectly understandable perceptions usually based on historic uses of lead outlawed decades ago. This in turn means that lead’s many positive – indeed essential - applications in almost every aspect of our lives, are often overlooked by decision-makers, regulators and legislators.
 
For companies such as Boliden, based in Sweden – the Member State behind the current EU consultation on lead - the modern reality of our industry is very different from outdated perceptions. The lead and lead battery industries are not only supporting a sustainable and environmentally-friendly future, they’re an essential part of it.
 
Which brings me to the freshwater Tilapia fish.
 
This is a highly-valued source of protein in Sweden and Boliden – a recycler of lead batteries – farms and produces about six tonnes of this unassuming fish for the Swedish food industry. And they do so using their lead plant, with warm water tanks heated as a by-product of their lead production.
 
Boliden's warm water tanks housing Tilapia
 
That’s not all. The Tilapia fish’s poo is a highly sought-after fertilizer, so another important offshoot from the plant can go back into agriculture. Meanwhile Boliden is also experimenting with algae, in a programme with RISE (Research Institutes of Sweden), a project which is assessing ways of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
 
Finally, the company is planning a renewable energy grid, which stores electricity – using advanced lead batteries - produced by solar panels. This is just one example of hundreds of similar projects worldwide where modern lead batteries provide energy storage solutions for micro-grids and other applications.
 
So, while it may seem counterintuitive to many, lead-based products and advanced lead batteries are an important part of Europe’s renewable energy future.
 
And that’s just one reason why regulators must weigh these issues very carefully and avoid decisions with unintended consequences.
 

ILA Blog


Innovation is the key to tackling climate change - 03/12/2018

By Dr Alistair Davidson AS politicians and experts gather in Poland to consider how to tackle global warming, battery experts are continuing to see how innovation … Continue Reading

Microgrid experiment is part of global battery energy storage bid to boost electrification - 09/11/2018

By Dr Alistair Davidson ON a university campus in rural Missouri, a partnership project between industry and academia is paving the way for homes to adopt … Continue Reading

Lead batteries provide the blueprint for circular economy and sustainability goals - 31/10/2018

By Dr Alistair Davidson Today we celebrate World Cities Day, a UN designated day for the recognition and celebration of urbanisation worldwide, with the motto ‘Better … Continue Reading

The European Battery Alliance is one year old; it is time to embrace all battery technologies - 15/10/2018

By Dr Andy Bush   This month marks the one-year anniversary of the European Battery Alliance (EBA). With energy storage in Europe increasing by 49% in 2017, … Continue Reading

How lead batteries help achieve a greener world - 25/09/2018

Dr Alistair Davidson Last week, Zero Emissions Day focused the world’s attention on the goal of reducing emissions and encourages and celebrates opportunities to achieve this … Continue Reading

Solar power and lead batteries energise the Navajo Nation - 23/08/2018

Dr Alistair Davidson In one of the most sun-drenched regions of North America, ALABC member company Crown Battery is helping deliver a sustainable, renewable energy storage … Continue Reading

The EU is short-circuiting its battery plans - 27/06/2018

Dr Andy Bush ONE of the most high-profile EU Commissioners (and forthcoming candidate for the EU presidency) Maroš Šefčovič, has been in Washington D.C., US, speaking … Continue Reading

A plan for all seasons - 21/05/2018

Dr Andy Bush   THE vast legislative juggernaut that is the EU moved up a gear this week with the latest announcement of its package of measures … Continue Reading

Our man in Colombia - 15/05/2018

Brian Wilson   CALI is a thriving city in the north-west of a South American country once renowned for its reputation for drug cartels and conflict.   Times have … Continue Reading

Letter from America: the heat is on - 10/05/2018

Dr Andy Bush   I HAVE spent a week deep in the Arizona desert with the US’s leading battery manufacturers discussing the opportunities and threats facing the … Continue Reading

Revolutionary spirit energises Boston - 02/05/2018

Dr Alistair Davidson   AS the birthplace of the American revolution it was fitting that Boston, Massachusetts, should host a conference about a very different, but no … Continue Reading

Does the left hand know what the right hand is doing? - 23/04/2018

Dr Steve Binks   Businesses welcome good regulation, but sometimes large organisations such as the EU are faced with the left hand not always being aware what … Continue Reading

Follow the star in the East - 03/04/2018

Dr Alistair Davidson   SAUDI ARABIA has signalled another dramatic step in its transformation from being an oil state to a renewable energy empire, by investing $200billion … Continue Reading

A bright future for lead - 29/03/2018

Dr Andy Bush   I spoke at two conferences last week, one organised by analysts from the commodities group CRU, the other an event for Metal Bulletin. … Continue Reading

Lead batteries: essential energy for a greener world - 16/03/2018

Dr Andy Bush   The huge increase in demand for safe and reliable batteries to store energy from renewable sources such as solar and wind heralds a … Continue Reading

China forges ahead in energy storage using advanced lead batteries - 15/03/2018

Dr Alistair Davidson   One of my early impressions as I tour China’s vast industrial heartlands is the country’s growing demand for electricity from renewable sources to … Continue Reading
Andy%20Bush

Please complete the following details to download the Lead BLM Tool