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Green opportunities for storage-battery production

By Bao Chang (chinadaily.com.cn)
Updated: 2010-12-14 15:44
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BEIJING---Seeing robust demand from the new-energy automobile industry for energy storage, China's storage-battery companies have strengthened their efforts to innovate in the field of environmental protection technology, trying to maintain sustainable development of the renewable energy industry.

"Innovation in environmentally friendly technology such as reduction of metal pollution during production will keep the industry in healthy development, and small-sized enterprises are the first batch that need to devote more to the project," said Hao Jun, deputy-secretary-general of the China Electrical Equipment Industrial Association (CEEIA).

Widely used in electric vehicles, telecommunication and national electricity grid as impelling power, storage-battery products see big business potential, as the new energy automobile was listed by the government as a strategic and emerging industry in the 12th Five-Year-Plan (2011-2015).

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China is now the biggest producer of lead-acid storage battery, the most widely used battery in new-energy automobiles, accounting for 25 percent of the global output annually.

The export volume of China's lead-acid storage battery has been increasing by 22.8 percent a year, rendering China a major storage battery exporter.

According to the CEEIA, annual growth of the lead-acid storage industry in China will be no less than 15 percent over the next five years due to surging demand from both domestic and foreign markets.

Industry experts believe forming the industry standard to reduce lead pollution is a priority for the storage battery's long-term development.

"Large enterprises including China Shoto, Chilwee and Tianneng have been making great efforts on equipment optimization and technology innovation to cut down lead pollution generated during battery production," Hao of the CEEIA said.

Chilwee Power Co Ltd has devoted 5.8 million yuan ($870,000) to recycling uses of wastewater and lead dust purification over the past several years.

Xu Hong, secretary-general at Lead-acid Storage Battery Committee of China Electrotechnical Society, said the government should strengthen their supervision on the environmental protection mechanism of industrial companies to ensure a healthy development of renewable energy.