A small army of wind turbines strings out along the shores of the IJsselmeer and the Veluwemeer, but they also pop up on many other rural horizons from Friesland to Zeeland. In the countryside, solitary turbines provide electricity for farmers, while on the coast and out to sea, banks of turbines harness the incoming weather systems, providing electricity for thousands of households. Erected in the 1930s, the first wind turbines provided electricity for remote communities in the US and the Australian outback. However, their full potential wasn’t realized until research into cleaner forms of energy, carried out in Denmark and Germany during the 1970s, produced mechanisms that were both more efficient and more powerful. Ideally suited to the flat, windswept polders of the Netherlands, the first Dutch turbines generated 40 kilowatts of electricity; output is now a beefier 600 kilowatts – enough for a single wind farm of 50 turbines to provide power to 6500 households.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Netherlands features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

7 Dutch cities to explore beyond Amsterdam

7 Dutch cities to explore beyond Amsterdam

Amsterdam — with its museums, gabled Golden Age houses and network of historic canals — is a sure bet for a weekend break. But it's not all the Netherlands…

27 Apr 2017 • Stuart Forster insert_drive_file Article
An expert's guide: the best area to stay in Amsterdam

An expert's guide: the best area to stay in Amsterdam

Almost 50 years after John Lennon and Yoko Ono promoted world peace from room 702 of the Hilton, Amsterdam’s hotels are more worthy of the spotlight than ev…

08 Mar 2017 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
The best places to go in spring

The best places to go in spring

Springtime is beautiful, with its big blue skies and flowers in bloom, so there may be no better time to travel. If you're thinking about getting away, here are…

14 Feb 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month