Greens support Tesla: water consumption in Grünheide is not a problem


Green politicians have countered fears from environmental groups that the construction of the Tesla factory in Grünheide, Brandenburg, would lead to a water problem in the region. “I made inquiries. The amount of water that is needed – that is optimized and that can be represented,” said Greens parliamentary group leader Anton Hofreiter after visiting the construction site.

One thing should not be forgotten: the approval process runs smoothly and sensibly in accordance with the law. That is why he is optimistic that it will work, stressed Hofreiter. There are some environmental groups that are extremely critical of it. However, this would also represent the concerns of local residents.

Michael Kellner, the director of the Greens, expressed himself in a similar way. Like the green candidate for Chancellor Annalena Baerbock, the politician is applying for a direct mandate in Brandenburg. He has great confidence in the state government that they will act according to the law, said Kellner after visiting the construction site. This has been confirmed by the court decisions that have so far been made on Tesla. He has full confidence in the authorities in Brandenburg.

In the Tesla application in the ongoing main approval process for the first expansion stage of the factory, a maximum annual water consumption of 1.423 million cubic meters is provided for the car and battery factory. Critics fear negative consequences for the environment from the factory and have sued several times against partial advance permits. The Berlin-Brandenburg water table is of the opinion that the settlement endangers drinking water and natural resources.

Environmental associations such as the “Green League” consider the rainwater concept to be inadequate because extreme weather situations such as a 100-year rain event are not yet reflected in the current permit documents. At the last public hearing in September, this was a request from the environmental associations, the Strausberg-Erkner water association and the lower water authority.

During a visit to the construction site in mid-August, Tesla boss Elon Musk rejected a water problem. “This region has so much water. Take a look around!” He said with a laugh when asked in Grünheide. “There is water everywhere here. (…) It rains a lot.” The US company plans to build around 500,000 cars a year in the so-called Gigafactory near the airport. Tesla is also planning a battery factory there. So far, the environmental approval for the plant by the state of Brandenburg is still pending. Construction is therefore based on provisional approvals.


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