At some point recently, a group of world leaders must have gotten together and decided that the best way to save our planet was through prizes. Hence we have the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE, the Financial Times Climate Change Challenge, the Saltire Prize for ocean energy, and now the U.K. Carbon Trust’s multi-million dollar competition to cut the cost of offshore wind energy. Backed by DONG Energy, Airtricity Developments, RWE nPower, Scottish Power Renewables and StatoilHydro, the Carbon Trust is offering a £20 million ($29.4 million) prize to cut costs by 30% compared to current offshore wind power designs.
The competition aims to find turbine foundation designs for deep sea conditions (30 to 60 meters) to be used in demonstration projects between 2010 and 2012. Though the competition is based in Britain, entries from across the world will be accepted. A panel of judges will decide on a short list of finalists to receive up to £100,000 ($147,150) for design concepts.
Development of offshore wind turbines is critical to the U.K.’s future in renewable energy. The Carbon Trust estimates that offshore wind could provide up to a quarter of the U.K.’s energy by 2020, create 700,000 new jobs, and generate billions in revenue. Want to get in on the offshore action? Entries to the competition will be accepted starting May 11th.