Modern lead batteries are the product of millions of dollars of research and innovation by the lead battery industry, and today's state-of-the-art lead-based energy storage technology serves a diverse array of applications.
The video tells the story of both expected and unexpected uses of lead batteries. Beyond providing energy storage for over 270 million vehicles and 65 percent of forklifts in the U.S., lead batteries improve the reliability of renewable energy facilities and protect the $1 trillion U.S. communications infrastructure with uninterruptible power supply. This same technology is also utilized by first responders to rapidly deploy lighting and other mobile electronics during emergencies. In addition, the U.S. military relies on lead batteries to provide onboard power to ground support vehicles to keep our troops safe and powers vehicles used for bomb detection and disposal.
"Our industry is leading the green energy storage revolution," said Jeff Elder, president of Battery Council International (BCI). "Over the past 16 years we have invested more than $50 million to improve the lifetime, performance and reliability of lead batteries, transforming their ability to fulfill the needs of ever-changing and more demanding applications. Today, we provide over 75 percent of the world's energy storage capacity, and look to play a larger role in helping renewable energy storage facilities reliably deliver clean energy to more people.
"We're pleased to release this new video, 'Storing Tomorrow's Power Today,' in conjunction with National Battery Day to highlight some of the hidden ways lead batteries power our society today, and the innovative ways lead batteries will continue to provide essential energy storage in the years to come."
The sustainability, reliability and scalability of lead battery technology make it a key tool to achieve the goal of a green energy future. For example, lead battery innovations enable vehicles to improve fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions through start-stop technology which is expected to prevent two million tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually, or the equivalent of 211,000 U.S. households.
Offering solutions at almost one-third of the cost of comparable energy storage systems, lead battery technology is used in many solar and wind facilities to regulate the variability and increase reliability of on-demand power. They store excess energy when demand is low and release it when demand is high, ensuring a steady supply of energy to millions of homes.
Lead batteries power our everyday lives in ways seen and unseen. They also power the economy. In 2016, the U.S. lead battery industry enabled more than 95,000 jobs and contributed more than $28 billion in total economic output to the national economy. On National Battery Day and every day, there are many good reasons to celebrate this technology that is essential today and for years to come.