A £20 million global competition has been launched by the UK government and the Carbon Trust, an independent think tank set up by government, to design and develop the next-generation of offshore wind turbine foundations suitable for deeper waters of 30-60 metres. The plan is to demonstrate them in large-scale wind farms slated for 2010-12. The target is to achieve a lifecycle cost reduction of 30% over existing deep water foundations. Shortlisted entries will receive up to £100,000 for assessment of the design concepts. The final winners will have their designs installed with funding from a consortium that includes the Carbon Trust. By 2020 up to 150,000 new foundations are estimated to be needed by the offshore wind industry in a global market worth up to £2.5 billion. According to the Carbon Trust, foundations in deep water can account for up to 20% of project costs.
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