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Brandenburg Coal Mine Uses 171 Times More Water Than Tesla’s Giga Berlin Will Need

Environmental groups in Germany seem to really care about the usage of water near Tesla’s Giga Berlin, and are especially concerned with how much of the stuff Tesla’s plant will use. Let’s hope they have that same energy for the LEAG coal mine, which uses more water than Tesla needs for Giga Berlin. Teslarati recently noted that Tesla has submitted all of the required documents for the German State of Brandenburg for approval.

The LEAG coal mine uses as much as 171 times more water than Giga Berlin needs. Alex Voigt shared this bit of information on Twitter this week. BZ Berlin reported that, next month, the German courts could actually shut down both the LEAG coal mine and prevent Tesla from starting its operation. LEAG is the largest consumer of water in the state. In 2020, the plant pumped 114 million cubic meters of water to dry out opencast mines — without a permit from the State Mining Authority.

Alex told me in a Twitter direct message that the coal mine using more water posed a larger problem than Tesla’s smaller usage. Since the water table is low, getting good quality H2O is a problem. In addition, the authorities have been completely denying the situation for too many years and have not developed new sources early enough. That takes many years and is not an easy process. Water is one of the best-controlled foods in Germany, and the quality is outstanding compared to other countries. It’s a complex issue, but Tesla is definitely not the problem.”

BZ Berlin noted that the LEAG coal mine was only supposed to pump 42 million cubic meters last year. Since 2017, however, the coal mine has pumped out a total of 240 million cubic meters too much. This is causing the rivers and lakes to dry up. In comparison, Tesla will only need 1.4 million cubic meters.

Regarding the LEAG coal mine, Judge Gregor Nocon said that the Cottbus Administrative Court plans to make a decision sometime between the end of January through mid-February, adding that the opencast mine had been shut down twice due to legal violations.

The water agency, WSE, wants to deliver Tesla’s water from the Eggersdorf well, and the Brandenburg Environment Agency increased the amount of funding. The environmental groups involved, Naturschutzbund (Nabu) and the Green League, have been working tirelessly to prevent Tesla from operating. The association is hoping that the environmentalists are successful. WSE boss André Bähler added, “Then we can no longer guarantee supplies to the population and for Tesla.”

The article noted that Bähler would have to terminate the water contract with Tesla and that the finished Tesla plant may not be able to start operations.

Coal Plants & Water Usage

Coal mines use a lot of water during the mining process for many reasons. published an article on this topic in 2017 and noted that it’s used for various reasons, ranging from safety in underground coal mines to managing dust produced during the processing stage. Mines also need water for equipment maintenance as well as consumption by the mining communities. The article noted that around 250 liters of fresh water are required per tonne of coal produced.

Circle of Blue noted that here in the US, around half of the 410 billion gallons of water withdrawn from our lakes, rivers, and aquifers are used for mining coal — so, about 205 billion gallons of water. Some of this water is also used for cooling electric power generating stations — most of which burn coal. pointed out that coal is one of the most resource-intensive methods of generating electricity and that a typical coal plant withdraws enough water to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool every three and half minutes. Yikes! It also noted that coal mining and open-cast mining are responsible for complete environmental destruction while having huge impacts on local resources.

“Coal mining, especially open-cast mining, is responsible for complete environmental destruction, and has huge impacts to local water resources; groundwater needs to be pumped out of the ground, forests needs to be cut down and fertile topsoil are removed in order to access the coal; and in the process destroying valuable underground aquifers, streams, and rivers. Moreover, bare lands are easily eroded, degrading the water quality and clogging up rivers downstream, leading to increased flooding risks.”

I don’t think the problem is Tesla. I think it’s the coal mines!

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Johnna owns less than one share of $TSLA currently and supports Tesla's mission. She also gardens, collects interesting minerals and can be found on TikTok


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