Brandenburg coal mine uses 171 times more water than Tesla’s Giga Berlin will need
Environmental groups in Germany seem to really care about water use near Tesla’s Giga Berlin, and are particularly concerned about how much water Tesla will use. Hopefully they have the same power for the LEAG coal mine, which uses more water than Tesla needs for Giga Berlin. Teslarati recently noted that Tesla has submitted all the required documents for approval to the German state of Brandenburg.
The LEAG coal mine uses up to 171 times more water than Giga Berlin needs. Alex Voigt shared this information on Twitter this week. BZ Berlin reported that next month German courts could in fact shut down both the LEAG coal mine and prevent Tesla from starting operations. LEAG is the state’s largest consumer of water. In 2020, the plant pumped 114 million cubic meters of water to dry up surface mines – without a permit from the State Mining Authority.
Since 2017, LEAG has pumped 240 million cubic meters more than approved
“End of January to mid-February” will decide the Administrative Court, judge Gregor Nocon
“We have already closed the surface mine twice due to violations of the law.”
171 X 🇩🇪Giga Berlin
– Alex (@alex_avoigt) 22 December 2021
Alex told me in a direct message on Twitter that the coal mine using more water was a bigger problem than Tesla’s lower water consumption.
“Coal mines and other industrial consumers are a big problem because, to extract coal, the water table is lowered by pumping water from lakes and rivers that drain water into the Baltic Sea. Since the water table is low, good quality water is a problem. Moreover, the authorities have completely denied the situation for too many years and have not developed new sources early enough. It takes many years and is not an easy process. Water is one of the best controlled foods in Germany and its quality is exceptional compared to other countries. It’s a complex problem, but Tesla is definitely not the problem.
BZ Berlin noted that the LEAG coal mine was only supposed to pump 42 million cubic meters of water last year. Since 2017, however, the coal mine has pumped a total of 240 million cubic meters too much. This causes rivers and lakes to dry up. By comparison, Tesla will only need 1.4 million cubic meters of water.
Regarding the LEAG coal mine, Judge Gregor Nocon said the Cottbus Administrative Court planned to issue a decision between the end of January and mid-February, adding that the surface mine had been closed twice due to violations. of the law.
The water agency, WSE, wants to supply Tesla’s water from the Eggersdorf well, and the Brandenburg Environment Agency has increased the amount of funding. The environmental groups involved, Naturschutzbund (Nabu) and the Green League, have worked tirelessly to prevent Tesla from operating. The water association hopes environmentalists are successful. WSE boss André Bähler added: “So we can no longer guarantee supplies to the population and to Tesla. “
The article noted that Bähler would have to terminate the water contract with Tesla and that the completed Tesla plant may not be able to start operations.
Coal-fired power plants and water use
Coal mines use a lot of water during the mining process for many reasons. Phys.org published an article on this topic in 2017 and noted that water is used for a variety of reasons, ranging from safety in underground coal mines to dealing with dust produced during the processing stage. Mines also need water for equipment maintenance as well as for consumption by mining communities. The article notes that around 250 liters of fresh water are needed per tonne of coal produced.
Blue circle noted that here in the United States, about half of the 410 billion gallons of water taken from our lakes, rivers and aquifers is used to extract coal, or about 205 billion gallons of water. Some of this water is also used for cooling power plants, most of which burn coal.
EndCoal.org pointed out that coal is one of the most water-intensive methods of generating electricity and that a typical coal-fired power plant draws enough water to fill an Olympic-size swimming pool every three and a half minutes. Ouch! He also noted that coal mining and surface mining are responsible for the complete destruction of the environment while having huge impacts on local water resources.
“Coal mining, especially surface mining, is responsible for the total destruction of the environment and has enormous impacts on local water resources; groundwater must be pumped from the ground, forests must be felled and fertile topsoil must be removed in order to access coal; and in the process, destroying precious underground aquifers, streams and rivers. In addition, bare land erodes easily, degrading water quality and clogging rivers downstream, leading to increased flood risk.
I don’t think the problem is that Tesla uses water. I think it is the coal mines that abuse the water.
Appreciate the originality of CleanTechnica? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician or Ambassador – or Patreon Patron.