European KAP 2013
Denmark and Poland

J.S. and S.W. Aber

Table of contents
Introduction Denmark
Udbyneder Ramme Dige
Hurup beach Poland
Margonin Related sites


We visited northern Europe in late spring 2013 primarily for the purpose of investigating wind energy—history of development and current status in Denmark and Poland. We have been to these two countries many times before and feel comfortable traveling off the main touristic routes in order to find interesting and unusual features in the rural environment.

Restored traditional windmills at Gylling, Denmark (left) and near Czarnków, Poland (right). Such mills were utilized since Medieval times until the beginning of the twentieth century.

We brought a limited KAP ensemble including the Canon S70 and Elph camera rigs as well as rokkaku and delta kites. In addition to wind-farm sites, we also conducted kite aerial photography at a couple of Danish beaches. For transportation, we picked up a new Volvo C30 at the factory in Sweden. The C30 model was discontinued at the end of 2012, and we got the last C30 delivered at the factory—see
title image. The car was shipped to us in the U.S. at the end of our stay in Europe.

KAP gear for our European trip: cargo box with kites, reel and various accessories, golf-club case for long kites, and two carry-on bags each with a complete camera rig. Note the towing ring (<) in the rear bumper, which we used for the kite anchor at most sites.


Denmark is the birthplace of the modern wind industry. Innovations began in the late nineteenth century with Poul la Cour, the Danish Edison, and have continued since (Christensen 2009). The so-called Danish model emerged during the mid- and late-1970s, stimulated in particular by the Tvind wind turbine and a grass-roots effort by many inventors and independent builders to convert wind into usable electricity.

Left: Agricco wind turbine mounted on the base of a traditional windmill. The Agricco was developed in 1919 by Danish engineers and manufactured during the 1920s (Christensen and Thorndahl 2012). Note millstones at bottom; photographed by the authors on Bornholm in 1979.

Right: Tvind wind turbine was built 1975-78; for many years it was the largest wind turbine in active service and is still operating today. It demonstrated the potential for industrial-scale wind energy. The concrete tower is 53 m tall, and the rotor is 54 m in diameter.

Vestas, Bonus, Nordtank, and Micon became the major Danish manufacturers of wind turbines during the 1980s. Bonus was later acquired by Siemens, and Nordtank merged with Micon into NEG Micon, which was eventually bought out by Vestas, the world's largest wind-turbine company. Vestas continues to lead all other companies in manufacturing wind turbines as of 2020 with approximately one-sixth of the global market according to

New Vestas world headquarters opened in 2011 at Aarhus, Denmark. Main administrative building (left) and research building (right).
Windmills are a popular theme in Danish culture, for example in Christmas Plates from Royal Copenhagen. Traditional windmill (left) and modern offshore wind turbines at Horns Reef (right).

We conducted kite aerial photography in Jutland (Jylland), the western mainland portion of Denmark. Three locales are presented below: a large wind farm, an archaeological site, and a coastal scene.

Udbyneder wind farm

A substantial wind farm is located on the eastern side of Jylland near the Kattegat coast. Mariager Fjord and the city of Hobro are nearby. The area of the wind farm is low-lying land drained by a network of ditches and used primarily for agricultural crops. Bright yellow fields are raps oil (canola). Other fields contain varieties of wheat, barley, and rye grains as well as hay. The wind farm includes NEG Micon and Siemens turbines positioned in a grid system.

Wind farm overviews

View northward

View to northeast

View eastward

View to southeast

Left: close-up shot looking down on a Siemens turbine; note its shadow. Small building to left controls drainage. Right: kite flyers (*) set up between large storage bins and drainage ditches.
Left: view west toward a large agricultural complex with various types of crops. Right: hot spot (<) appears next to the kite shadow. It's unusual for the sun, kite and camera to be aligned so closely.

Ramme Dige archaeological site

Ramme Dige is an archaeological complex in western Jylland that contains several burial mounds from the Neolithic (late Stone Age) and Bronze Age as well as remains of a defensive wall (dige) built during the Iron Age. Many more burial mounds once existed, but some have been removed. Nonetheless, the positions of these former mounds are clearly depicted in our images. Wind turbines are visible in the background inland from the North Sea. We conducted KAP at this site before in the autumn of 2005—see
Ramme Dige.

Left: looking inland (eastward) with wind turbines in the background. Right: opposite view toward the North Sea (westward) showing some burial mounds in the foreground.
Left: view toward north over the rural agricultural landscape. Bright yellow fields are raps oil (canola). Right: close-up shot of the Iron Age wall trace. A portion of the wall is reconstructed at scene center (*).
Left: burial mounds preserved in the protected portion of the site. Right: looking over an agricultural field that contains traces of removed burial mounds (*) and former field boundaries (x). A preserved burial mound appears in the upper left corner.

Nørre Hurup beach

The northeastern coast of Jylland along Aalborg Bay has extensive beaches. These beaches face the Kattegat to the east and are protected from major North Sea storms and, so, display relatively low wave and tide action. Intricate patterns are developed in emergent and submerged sand bars, tidal pools, and related coastal landforms. Tide appeared to be out during our KAP session, so offshore sea-bed features were visible through the clear, shallow water. Few people were on the beach in early June on a weekday afternoon.

Views northward along the beach. High-oblique vantage (left) with kite flyers in lower left corner. Offshore, submerged sand bars are clearly visible. Low-oblique shot (right).
Looking southward with shallow water and the beach (left) and the extensive camping-area complex at Nørre Hurup (right).
Close-up views of sand bars, shallow water, and waves.
Left: vertical shot of shallow lagoon, beach, and sand bar. Note people on beach to right. Right: the authors on the beach. We found a steel post in the sand to use as our anchor.


Poland, like Denmark, has a long history of traditional windmills, and installation of modern wind turbines for generating electricity began toward the end of the twentieth century. Nowadays, Poland is rapidly increasing its wind-energy development. The country imports 90% of its oil and two-thirds of its natural gas, primarily from Russia, and more than 90% of its electricity is generated with domestically extracted brown coal. Poland is moving aggressively to increase renewable energy sources and reduce its consumption of domestic coal and imported fossil fuels. Its wind-power capacity had reached nearly 2500 MW in 2012, primarily in the northern and central portions of the country.

Tackle wind turbines in northern Poland at Szarzewo near the Baltic coast. Tackle Windtechnik was the second leading German manufacturer of wind turbines in the 1990s. Photo by the authors in 1998, when Poland's wind-power capacity was a mere 5 MW (Wind Power 2013).

Margonin-Radwanki wind farm

Substantial wind farms are located in the west-central portion of the country in the vicinity of Margonin. We visited these wind farms and found a suitable place to conduct kite aerial photography near the village of Radwanki. Our first attempt in late morning lacked sufficient wind to lift our Canon Elph camera rig, but we tried again in the late afternoon and were successful. Throughout our session the turbines turned at a near-constant six seconds per revolution (10 rpm) on a northwesterly breeze that we estimated at 5-6 m/sec. This is the minimum wind speed for KAP with our equipment.

Left: kite flyers at lower right corner downwind from a grove of trees in the middle of the Radwanki wind farm. Right: close-up view of large EDP Renewables turbine. This is the closest we have ever flown to a large operating turbine, and we had to be cautious to avoid turbulence.
Left: looking eastward over the village of Radwanki. Feature in center foreground is a cemetery. Right: Panoramic view to northeast showing a large farm complex in foreground and many wind turbines in the distant background.
Left: view toward the northeast over farmsteads and fields with turbines in the background. Right: looking southward. Note long shadow of turbine across bottom of scene in the late afternoon.

Related sites


Text and images © J.S. and S.W. Aber

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Last update: February 2022.