Winds of Change in Poland

The search for the stories behind wind energy in Poland. Updates from the field.

  1. I am currently in Poland where I am searching for unique human interest stories in the wind industry. This is part of my ongoing Force project. These photo-reportages will be published on the European Wind Energy Association's blog later this year. But, before that happens, included below is the story of the adventures in social media from the field. 
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  3. Dear Reader. Thank you for following this story of my adventures around Poland exploring the wind energy sector. As the last image indicates, this isn't the end. The story will continue, next stop Romania. Go here to see the Romanian adventures unfold. 
  4. #Gdansk > #Warsaw. 5hrs, 20 min.
    #Gdansk > #Warsaw. 5hrs, 20 min.
  5. Many thanks to a great companion and assistant Agata for the picture below
  6. See you next time #Gdansk, hopefully in slightly warmer weather. Next stop, #Romania.
    See you next time #Gdansk, hopefully in slightly warmer weather. Next stop, #Romania.
  7. Today was the fifth day in Poland exploring stories behind wind energy. It started with an amazing walk through the fields with Chris, an ornithologist, and ended with a few vodkas and a missing voice. 

    Starting at the beginning: Today, early in the morning (7am), I joined Chris on his daily walk around a wind farm near Goscino. It was an incredible morning and the sun was shining bright. Chris and his clumsy dog do this walk every day, searching for birds that have been killed by turbines. He has found 8 - 16 birds per year in a 10 turbine wind farm. An average of 1 bird per turbine/year. He says that in the first few months of his job he killed more birds with his car driving to the wind farm then he discovered killed by the turbines. Surely something to consider for those people that say that wind turbines are ferocious killers of birds and bats. I will have more on his story in a blog post soon complete with great images. 

    After spending the morning with Chris, I made my way back to Gdansk with my assistant for the week, Agata. We stopped by the Baltic sea on the way and enjoyed walking the beach with the wind and blowing sand. (No wonder they have a lot of wind energy in this area.)

    On another note, somehow I have lost my voice. I have been medicating with vodka this evening and I expect that it will make a difference. 

    Tomorrow the adventure continues. I am boarding a train for a 24 hour trip to Romania. For me it is importnat that the carbon output is lower and the adventure will be worth it. This story will move to a new page for Romania. Come on back on Monday and see what has happened over the weekend. 
  8. One more #vodka please. A fitting end to an adventure in #Poland.
    One more #vodka please. A fitting end to an adventure in #Poland.
  9. Left my voice somewhere in western #Poland. The #wind took it I think. I hope I get it back soon.
  10. A stop at the #Baltic sea. Wintery Poland.
    A stop at the #Baltic sea. Wintery Poland.
  11. Near #Goscino, finally some sun.
    Near #Goscino, finally some sun.
  12. Great morning walking the snow covered fields with Chris, ornithologist conducting a 10 study on a #wind farm. #globalwindday #Poland
  13. More snow and winter for another day in Poland. Off to see a man who works with birds.
  14. Spending the night in #Kolobrzeg.
    Spending the night in #Kolobrzeg.
  15. Today I had the pleasure of visiting the mayor of Kobylnica, Poland. Leszek Kuliński has been the mayor for 15 years and has led a transformation in his community. Kobylnica has embraced renewable energy technologies and the benefits, like new roads, taxes, lease agreements, are flowing in. The commune consistently ranks at the top or near the top of the best communes in Poland and when it comes to renewable energy they are #1. I will have more on this story in an upcoming blog post. 

    I was also lucky enough to get to the top of one of the wind turbines that Tundra Advisory Council is responsible for developing. Fitted with a harness and safety gear, I climbed into the 'space capsule' lift and took the 5 minute ride to the top with one of the technicians. The top of these Siemens wind turbines open up like a Star Trek ship and the view is incredible. At this time in Poland it is minimalistic, graphic and beautiful. 

    This evening I am staying Kołobrzeg. Tomorrow I am meeting an ornithologist.....

  16. I noticed this link from George that leads to a great and relevant article from Science Direct for this trip. I have heard many many times about the health impacts of turbines, this is worth a read.
  17. In rural Poland they seem to have a problem with disappearing #almunium from #wind #turbines.
    In rural Poland they seem to have a problem with disappearing #almunium from #wind #turbines.
  18. Pleasantly surprised this morning. Kobylnica is leading the way in #Poland on #renewables. Doing it right, from the ground up. #wind @EWEA
  19. Day 4, meeting with Kobylnica mayor to talk #wind energy in his community.
  20. Dial the #red phone for #winter in #Poland.
    Dial the #red phone for #winter in #Poland.
  21. Breakfast Cartoons
  22. Planing tomorrow's wind energy trail.
    Planing tomorrow's wind energy trail.
  23. Good question from friend and colleague @grasfotografie regarding the research and methods to make these stories happen. If you have a question you would like to ask, send me a Tweet or mention it in a comment below.  
  24. @grasfotografie Bit of both. Mostly I use my developed energy and climate network to start and get recommendations, then see what happens.
  25. @rvanwaarden How do you find the people? just by going there? or researching upfront?
  26. Day three: Sitting in the very Soviet style Hotel Słupsk, the showers are warm, but the doors are low. The paint is yellow and the architecture is square, rectangular, and concrete.  We were told to park our car inside the gates because sometimes the local drunks like to throw vodka bottles. Fair enough.

    Today I ended up in the little town of Kończewo, just south of Słupsk. Here I met with Mirosława & Mieczyslaw and was amazed at how enthusiastic they are with the two wind turbines on their land. Mirosława loves looking out over his fields and knowing that the wind turbines rotating over his crops are helping a clean energy future. Of course it helps that the leasing of the land brings in extra income for the family. I will be writing this story soon and posting it in full on the EWEA blog in the next few weeks.

    Tomorrow, I have a meeting with the Mayor, a man who apparently has helped convince this community for the last 10 years about the benefits of renewables. Looking forward...  
  27. 'We feel like we won a lottery,' Miroslavwa & Mieczyslaw shared their story about leasing their land for #wind turbines in #Poland today.
  28. 12:00 in #Slupsk, Poland. Next stop Konczewo.
    12:00 in #Slupsk, Poland. Next stop Konczewo.
  29. Yes, #Hel has seals, perhaps they are killer seals....
    Yes, #Hel has seals, perhaps they are killer seals....
  30. Ready for another day in the #snow in #Poland
    Ready for another day in the #snow in #Poland
  31. Second day in Poland. We ended up in Hel, a small town on a peninsula that juts into the Baltic sea. It really feels like the end of the world, although I never expected it to be full fledged snowstorm in Hel.  Needless to say, the comments about 'Hel' haven't stopped all day long. Stay in Hel, driving to Hel, only a few more minutes to Hel, Hel is abandoned tonight, quiet season in Hel, you get the picture. Probably funnier if you were here.

    Earlier today I was at Starbienino, one of the first sites of a wind turbine in Poland. It has an interesting story behind it, one of hope and leading by example. The role it played in fostering and supporting ecological education, development and good practice is intriguing. This story will be fleshed out in an upcoming blog post. Tomorrow, Kobylnica.
  32. I'm at a bar in Hel. There is a snowstorm outside.....
  33. Agata, "It's 72 km to Hel." Let's go see Hel in a snowstorm!
  34. It's an old one, but a good one. Starbienino, one of the first #wind turbines in Poland.
    It's an old one, but a good one. Starbienino, one of the first #wind turbines in Poland.
  35. Listening to this..
  36. Yes, interesting day. Welcome to #Poland. Stuck on the 'fast' road on the way to Starbienino.
    Yes, interesting day. Welcome to #Poland. Stuck on the 'fast' road on the way to Starbienino.
  37. Stuck fast on the 'fast' road in Poland. Wind and weather playing havoc with transport.
  38. #Snowy Gdansk. Should be an interesting day.
    #Snowy Gdansk. Should be an interesting day.
  39. Tomorrow morning I have another meeting in Gdansk, and then I am off for four days around the north west of Poland to visit three different sites. More to come. 
  40. Great first day in Gdansk researching and interviewing about #wind energy in the region.
  41. Good meeting with Tundra Advisory group today. I look forward to visiting their Kobylnica #wind project later this week.
  42. Polish planning session. And because I thought I should join the ranks of instagram #lunch photographers. http://instagr.am/p/W_rI9rFx94/
    Polish planning session. And because I thought I should join the ranks of instagram #lunch photographers.  http://instagr.am/p/W_rI9rFx94/ rI9rFx94/
  43. #polish chicken, hotel decoration in Gdansk.
    #polish chicken, hotel decoration in Gdansk.
  44. Nicest bistro eva. Perogies & beer, excellent welcome as we drift through snowy Poland.
  45. @michabruinvels thanks. Btw, it's cold up here. But the welcome was suitably carried out with beer and pickles.
  46. Following the #wind to #Poland. On the train to Gdansk, co2 friendly way.
  47. Working on the final preparations before a three week trip to document #wind energy in Europe.