Massive Windwheel in Rotterdam could become green electricity icon

In the Rotterdam World Trade Center on Thursday politicians, companies, architects and inventors signed a 'green deal' for the eventual construction of the Dutch Windhweel - a massive, sustainable building in the shape of a wheel that will, hopefully, generate more energy than it uses. This very ambitious project is still in its planning phase, but if it becomes a reality, it is set to be an icon for green electricity, Trouw reports.

The building was first thought up by businessman Johan Mellegers, and sustainability architect Duzan Depel ran with it. The idea is a 174 meter high, ring shaped building made from completely sustainable and degradable materials. It should be a hotel and an apartment building, that can change continually so it never becomes outdated. And the 108 diameter hole in the ring will generate wind energy.

The building will generate wind energy using a new, and still being developed, technique called Ewicon - short for electrolastic wind energy converter. The hole in the building will be filled with fine wiring that will generate power from wind, without the need of moving parts as used in windmills. TU Delft is working on the development of this technology, though this too is still in an early phase. 

Since 2014, a large number of companies and research institutions joined up to help develop this formidable building, including BAM, ECN, Eneco TNO, Siemens and Deltares.

The green deal was signed by all these people and the government. On behalf of the government, the deal was signed by Minister Henk Kamp of Economic Affairs, a Rotterdam alderman and a deputy of Zuid-Holland. In practice the politicians promised support for the project, to help come up with ideas, and to start looking for a suitable place in Rotterdam for the building to be constructed, according to the newspaper. 

"If this building happen, this icon will bring a lot of fun", Kamp said at the signing. He praised the initiators for their daring and sustainable ambitions. Whether or not the project will succeed still remains to be seen. The first challenge is generating funding - the cost of the building was previously estimated at between 250 million and 500 million euros. According to Kamp, the first big trick is getting the money together. 

Below see architect Duzan Doepel speaking about the Dutch Windwheel.