Lead is an essential material that plays a key role in transportation, electrification, technological diversity, green energy, supply chain security, and in achieving recycling targets.
Lead is directly supporting a wide range of low-carbon technologies which are vital to delivering the European Green Deal’s net zero objectives.
Key sectors supporting Europe’s future, including solar power, wind power, healthcare, lead battery production, the marine sector, aeronautics, space, and defence rely on lead.
Lead Matters demonstrates the significant role that lead metal plays as a raw material for the EU objectives associated with the Green Deal, Circular Economy, Clean Mobility, Critical Raw Materials Act and Green Deal Industrial Plan.
Lead’s unique properties support a wide range of low-carbon technologies which are vital to delivering the European Green Deal’s low carbon objectives. From lead providing longevity and reliability to solar panels, as protective sheathing in undersea cables linking wind farms to the grid, through to advanced lead batteries providing energy storage for renewables – lead and lead batteries are an important part of the complex eco-system required to deliver widescale electrification and deep decarbonisation.
Lead batteries are an essential onboard component in start-stop, mild-hybrid, full-hybrid and electric vehicles (EVs), and they can also be installed in EV charging stations to improve efficiency – a key enabler in the transition to an energy-efficient, decarbonised transport sector.
Societal & economic importance
From aviation to healthcare, the wide range of sectors supported by essential uses of lead are significant contributors to employment creation and economic growth. There are more than 20 essential uses of lead in the aeronautics industries, while lead-based radiation protection is currently the most effective, sustainable and cost-efficient way to safeguard the use of medical imaging today.
Lead enables energy-efficient precision engineering of intricate metal articles in high-production markets. From nuts and bolts, locks and keys to engine components, lead reduces friction during high-performance machining of steel, brass, and aluminium alloys.
With its new Circular Economy strategy, the EU’s ability to efficiently recycle metals is becoming increasingly important. Metals are eminently recyclable and the EU’s home-grown metals recycling industry is one of the most advanced and efficient in the world – and lead has a pivotal role within it.
Thanks to a unique combination of properties, and performance characteristics that span energy efficiency, carbon footprint, socio-economics, raw material security, as well as technical function, lead is the only suitable material in the many applications and industries essential to EU society and the economy.