Still think wind power isn’t mainstream? Think again. The United Kingdom’s Energy Secretary John Hutton unveiled a set of proposals to encourage the uptake of offshore wind turbines in England. The proposals call for the offshore wind industry to provide up to 33 gigawatts of energy by 2020, enough to power every home in Britain!

The scheme would call for nearly 7,000 wind turbines, each of which could be powerful enough to provide electricity to 8,000 homes. To put it in perspective, all of Britain’s current power stations can output over 75 GW, meaning that it could be expected that wind could provide over half of the country’s energy needs. At the moment, Britain wishes to meet a goal of having wind provide over 8 GW by 2020, and it’s this target that the Energy Secretary wishes to raise.

This development is not without controversy; after all, having thousands of wind turbines in the ocean would be visible from the coast, and a full environmental impact assessment has yet to be made. However, the plan is certainly a welcome development in the push for eliminating the need for fossil fuels.

Hutton said: “The UK is now the number one location for investment in offshore wind in the world and next year we will overtake Denmark as the country with the most offshore wind capacity.”

+ Giant offshore wind farms to supply half of UK power @ Times Online