US Interior Secretary: Wind Could Replace Coal Power (Apr. 9, 2009) — Wind energy has the potential to replace most of coal-burning power today, secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said.

wind-powerAt the Atlantic City forum, he said wind has a gross resource of 463 gigawatts of power in the mid-Atlantic area alone. The current U.S. total production of electricity from coal is 366 gigawatts, according to the Energy Information Administration.

However, a large portion of the potential wind power is located out in deep waters. The laboratory assumes that about 40 percent of wind potential could actually be developed, totaling 185 gigawatts, or enough to power about 53.3 million average U.S. homes.

European countries, including Denmark and the U.K., have installed offshore wind parks.Cape Wind in the Nantucket Sound hopes to be the first in the US.

After more than 50 years of exploration and development, 70 percent of total resources are yet to be discovered, he estimates. More than half of this potential exists in areas of the Outer Continental Shelf outside the central and western Gulf of Mexico.

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