Clean energy

The critical transition to a carbon neutral Europe will be achievable only with sufficient amounts of non-ferrous metals, such as lead. Non-ferrous metals are the building blocks of all the currently known low-carbon solutions for a decarbonised economy, including renewable energy and clean mobility solutions.

The importance of lead in the economics of solar

As Europe speeds towards its energy transformation, the economics of low-carbon technology are becoming increasingly important. The use of lead in solar panels increases their reliability and longevity and passes on more energy cost savings to homeowners. With no other coatings being viable alternatives, lead is ensuring the long-term affordability of solar power systems.

Internally lead-sheathed cables are fuelling the surge in wind power

Wind energy is set to become the EU’s largest power source by 2027, overtaking coal, nuclear and gas. With steadier and higher speed winds, offshore wind farms in particular are able to generate more energy but require reliable infrastructure to best utilise it for the mainland grid. Internally lead-sheathed high-voltage cables are critical to delivering this – in fact, the world’s largest wind farm will utilise over 200km of it!

Lead enabling cleaner, more economical cars

Designed to shut off a car’s engine when idling, the automatic start-stop system is incredibly effective at reducing both fuel-consumption and emissions. Batteries used in start-stop vehicles must be able to support repeated use of the system, as well as modern car features such as satnav. Lead batteries are the only technology that can provide all the necessary performance requirements.

Lead providing uninterrupted power

Key to a functioning society is the constant provision of power. In hospitals, for example, critical devices such as dialysis machines and life support systems would cease to function, risking patient lives. Uninterrupted power is required to ensure computers, telecommunications equipment and data centres function as normal. Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) lead batteries ensure the supply of electricity should the input power source or mains power fail.

Lead batteries play a crucial role in renewable energy storage

The EU has set an ambitious, binding target of 32% for renewable energy sources in the EU’s energy mix by 2030. Demand for energy storage will therefore increase and is predicted to triple by 2030. A range of technologies will be required to meet this demand. Lead batteries play a key role in enabling renewable energy storage – by balancing power grids and saving surplus energy, they allow for renewable energy sources to be integrated into electricity systems.


Lead Matters is a collaborative campaign which showcases the essentiality of lead metal across Europe. Developed by the Lead (Pb) REACH Consortium, a voluntary initiative managed by the International Lead Association (ILA), it supports over 40 sectors in highlighting the vital, safe and sustainable use of lead in their industries.