April 7 - According to reports in the international media, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has said that windmills off the U.S. East Coast could generate enough electricity to replace most, if not all, the coal-fired power plants in the United

That would certainly be welcome news for project forwarders and heavy lift shipping lines that increasingly see the alternative energy sector as a prime source of cargo going forwards.

But those numbers have been challenged as "overly optimistic" by a coal industry group, which noted that half the nation's electricity currently comes from coal-fired power plants.

Backtracking slightly, a spokesman for Salazar is reported to have said that the secretary does not expect wind power to be fully developed, but was speaking of its total potential if it were.

According to the reports, Salazar suggested that ocean winds along the East Coast can generate one million megawatts of power, roughly the equivalent of 3,000 medium-sized coal-fired power plants, but he did not reveal how many windmills might be needed to generate so much power.