Windmills , Windturbines
One hundred and twenty years ago there were about 11,000 mills.
Those mills have made Holland great. Once 600 mills were in operation
for the Zaanstreek industry near Amsterdam.
With the improvement of soil hydrology and the coming of steam
and diesel pumping-engines, electricity and urban expansion, many
mills lost their functions and disappeared.
Holland, land of mills
Our country still boasts beautiful mills which are now cherished
because of the growing interest in our cultural-historic heritage.
Every year there is the National Windmillday during which about
600 mills are in operation and open to the public. If you are in
the Netherlands in May, this is the perfect opportunity to see mills
in operation Aldous Huxley’s geometrical ballet . What Aldous
Huxley, while travelling through North Holland in the twenties observed,
“ Along the level skyline a score of windmills wave their
arms like dancers in a geometrical ballet” can still be seen
in Kinderdijk. HollandThe RideWay takes you to these World Heritage
Greatest mills on earth
In the Dutch gin city where around 1880 there were no less than
392 distilleries, we see the mighty malt or distillery mills rising
high above the houses; the top of the sail of mill De Noord reaches
as high as 44.6 metres.
There are still about a thousand windmills to be found in our
country and many of them still grind the corn, as for example “De
windotter” which grinds for the traditional fresh bakeries
in the area. Formerly the mills processed cacao, paintwood, chalk,
husked barley, made paper, sawed wood and last but not least, pumped
out lakes and controlled the polderwater level.
Windmills still pumping water
Holland’s only flight mill which still has a clear hydraulic
function is in the low-lying clay area of the western part of the
Netherlands. HollandTheRideWay enables you to visit this mill in
which the miller is still living. The Windmill museum , an authentic
poldermill of the Golden age in a flight mill shows you the working
of a mill in all its aspects.
North Holland, land reclaimed by windmills
This series of several mills can be the starting point of a tour
through North Holland’s reclaimed lakes.
Masterpieces of windmill construction
HollandTheRideWay can also show you very special examples of mills
in other parts of the country , as for example an octagonal thatched
smock windmill with inside trundle and scaffold on a square understructure
and a sawmill.
are now eleven wind turbine parks in the Netherlands. They are concentrated
in the flat rather bare western and northern parts of the country
on the seaward side of the land where the winds are strong.
The average windspeed has to be at least 5 metres per second at
a height of 10 metres.
Lack of space
Because of the density of population in the Netherlands it is
difficult to find suitable locations for windturbine parks. Many
windturbines parks have been built in areas that are not much frequented
by people , such as remote docklands and industrial zones. Many
people feel an aversion towards the big windturbines because of
their noise pollution, visual pollution of the landscape and the
threat to bird migration and breeding and forage areas.
Windturbines fitted into the landscape
Nevertheless , in placing windturbines every effort is made to
allow for the structure of the landscape, for example by placing
turbines along a canal or dike as one can see along the IJsselmeerdikes
or along the Noordholland canal. Plans have also been made for a
series of windturbines along the Afsluitdijk (IJsselmeer Dam) ,
along the Frisian northwestern coast and at the North Sea.
Meanwhile the North Sea plan has been realised. The offshore wind park
"Egmond aan Zee'' was put into operation in april 2007 by his royal
highness, Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands.
Delta works windturbines
During a visit to the Delta Works, HollandTheRideWay can show
you some parks in the western and southwestern coastal area, for
example Windpark Neeltje Jans and Windpark Roggenplaat.