ILA Blog

Lead batteries provide the blueprint for circular economy and sustainability goals

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 City, Better Life’. The theme for 2018’s World Cities Day has a particularly important and relevant focus for our industry: sustainable and resilient cities.
Lead batteries are a key feature of all cities worldwide. Not only are they contained in millions of vehicles across the global urban landscape, from cars and lorries to forklifts, but they also play another essential function.
When the power goes out, lead batteries ensure the electricity stays on by powering the back-up generators in many important buildings, such as stock exchanges and large technology companies. Lead batteries enable data centres and other facilities to remain connected, even when the grid is compromised. By managing the variability of the electricity grid, energy storage systems supported by lead batteries ensure we remain connected and powered at all times in our cities.
So how do these key roles that lead batteries play relate to the 2018 theme of sustainable and resilient cities? Lead batteries help cities achieve a resilient and reliable source of uninterrupted power by providing energy storage capabilities for essential communications and emergency power needs, worth billions of euros in Europe.
As the most recycled consumer product in the world, with 99% of lead batteries collected and recycled at end of life in Europe and North America, lead batteries provide a blueprint for circular economy and sustainability goals.
As our world becomes more urbanised, predicted to be 68% by 2050, more cities and their citizens will rely on sustainable and resilient technologies, such as the lead battery, to power their lives every day: from the cars we drive to the energy we use.
Lead batteries currently provide 75% of the world’s rechargeable energy needs, and as the market for renewable, sustainable energy grows, lead batteries will continue to innovate and be available to meet the energy demand. Storing power in sustainable ways is a crucial requirement of cities and urbanising landscapes globally, and lead batteries will continue to provide this essential function.


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