The environmental and human health protection governing the safe use of chemicals is of fundamental concern for European electricity Transmission System Operators (TSOs) and power cable manufacturers.
Based on this tenet, a study conducted by an independent third-party laboratory concludes that there is no lead (Pb) diffusion from high-voltage submarine and land cables to the environment. This study was commissioned by ENTSO-E (representing the European TSOs for electricity) and Europacable (representing the European power cable manufacturers).
Set within the context of the ongoing Authorisation Process under REACH Annex XIV, which may result in the restriction, limitation, or ban of lead (Pb), including its use in high-voltage power cables, the laboratory testing aimed to assess the possible environmental impact of lead (Pb) within the high-voltage submarine and land power cables to the soil in which they are buried or surrounding waters.
Power cables are an essential component of the European interconnected network. As foreseen in the Ten-Year-Network-Development-Plan, by 2030, thousands of kilometres of connections will need to be installed among European countries. The successful implementation of the green transition (e.g., the connection of offshore wind farms), the reliable functioning of the European electricity market, and the stability of the European power grid towards Europe’s energy independence rely on the current cable technology, which uses lead to prevent water and moisture ingress into the power cable. Thus, limitations in the use and manufacturing of cables containing lead will jeopardise Europe’s climate goals.
ENTSO-E and Europacable invite all interested stakeholders to learn more about the scientific methodology put in place and the results obtained in the independent laboratory’s analysis. For more details, please check out the report below.