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OPSC Prelims-2022, GS: Answer Key - Download

Daily Current Affairs

Generate electricity from the defunct Fields

Syllabus- Mineral & Energy Resources [GS Paper - 1]

Context- Green Gravity, a renewable energy company based in Australia, has recently proposed a plan to use low-tech gravity technology to generate electricity from the defunct Kolar Gold Fields (KGF) in Karnataka.

Key Highlights

  • The idea is to find abandoned mines that are hundreds or thousands of meters deep and haul a 40-ton Weighted Block up to the top of the mine shaft with daytime renewable power.
  • A generator will be powered by a connected shaft (or rotor) when the heavy block falls under gravity when backup power is required.
  • A braking system can control the amount of power that can be produced by determining the depth to which the block can slip.
  • This is comparable to the pumped hydropower storage method, which involves electrically pumping water uphill into a reservoir before releasing it downhill to move a turbine and generate electricity as needed, as in a hydroelectric power plant.

What Importance Does This Technology Have?

  • The fact that there is no power on days when there is no wind makes renewable energy unreliable. Power prices rise when a battery is charged to be used as a backup during this downtime.
  • Gravity technology, which isn’t very advanced, can help with this problem. Even though this technology uses more energy than it produces, it can reduce reliance on coal-generated power and provide access to reliable power by making renewable energy available during off-peak hours.
  • By using weighted blocks instead of water, defunct mines can be utilized without incurring environmental costs or facing difficulties moving water up.

What are Kolar Gold Fields’ Most Important Facts?

  • The mining region known as Kolar Gold Fields (KGF) can be found in the Kolar district of Karnataka. It is well-known for the deepest gold mines in the world that it once had.
  • Mining in KGF was begun by John Taylor and Children in 1880.
  • The mines stayed dynamic for a considerable length of time before it encountered an unsystematic conclusion on February 28, 2001. Due to low revenues and high operating costs, the mines were shut down.
  • The mines have also been used in particle physics experiments to find mysterious cosmic particles called atmospheric neutrinos, in addition to mining Gold.
  • As of now, India has three working mother lodes in the nation – – Hutti and Uti mines in Karnataka and the Hirabuddini mines in Jharkhand.
  • India consumes 774 tonnes of gold per year, while its gold production is only about 1.6 tonnes per year.
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