Map of Holland, showing the former Zuider Zee, now landlocked by the Ijsselmeer Dam. (Courtesy of http://www.john-daly.com)
Discussing about European nations especially the Dutch, we talk about the deep rooted tradition of human creativity to solve daily issues and conquer nature. This article is about creativity and tenacity of the Dutch people in building huge dams to protect their cities against the threat of sea water inundation plus their windmill and wind-powered turbines as energy resources.
The Netherlands, along with Belgium and Luxembourg are called as the Low Countries. Land surfaces of these countries are located below sea level thus very prone to be inundated on certain time of the year. In case of the Netherlands, the Dutchmen wowed the world with the engineering ingenuity of their dams. The dams they built have saved their cities from the threat of flood and sea water inundation.
Situated near the sea, the Netherlands has abundant wind energy potential making it one of the countries with advanced wind power generated system.
There are no other countries so praised like the Netherlands when it comes to the creativity of water and wind technology.
The geographical features of the Netherlands are dominated by large mass of water surrounding the land area plus its location near the sea made this country have enormous wind and water power potential.
Eastern Scheldt dam in Zeeland (Courtesy of http://www.tippinthescales.wordpress.com)
Hundreds if not thousand years ago, the Dutchmen began the construction of their dams and windmills, taking advantage of the natural characteristics of the Low Countries to help solve daily problems.
Dams were created to protect the land area from flood, irrigation, land reclamation and power supply.
Land reclamation is the most real example of the Dutch people’s creativity. The area which used to be a mass of water was transformed by human’s creativity and ingenuity into a piece of dry land. It is the essence of creativity; the creation of something useful out of useless thing.
Windmills were built to improve the productivity of manufacturing industry, milling grain and water pump. World renowned traditional windmills are mostly located in the Netherlands.
A windmill in Utrecht (Courtesy of http://www.dipity.com)
Considering the engineering creativity of the Dutch people in taking advantage of natural potential and translate it into something beneficial for society, Indonesia should follow through. Indonesia has lots of rivers, lakes and sea that can serve as unending sources for power supply.
The long coastlines of Indonesia’s numerous islands have huge potential for wind generated power supply. Until now Indonesia still left far behind other countries in terms of wind and water power management technology.
With close bilateral ties between Indonesia and the Netherlands, the Indonesian government should speed up the wind and water power technology development in Indonesia; this can be by sending Indonesian engineering scholars to the Netherlands to study the system then return to Indonesia to implement the knowledge acquired to improve the status quo.
By improving wind and water power technology, Indonesia will be less dependent to biofuel to fulfill national energy consumption and more environmentally friendly. This approach is less risky than other unconventional power technology, for example nuclear generated power.