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Both Cisco and Microsoft will investigate the possibility of establishing server farms in Iceland powered fully by renewable energy.

According to the Icelandic daily Morgunbladid, the Reykjavík Energy Company (OR) is presently talking to both companies to see if server farms could be run by geothermal and hydroelectric power.

Iceland is a world leader in harnessing geothermal power. There are five major geothermal power plants which produce about 26 per cent of the country's electricity.

The energy is often so cheap that in the wintertime some sidewalks in Reykjavík and Akureyri are heated.

Cisco's server farms in the UK are already driven by friendly energy sources, but in the US the company is lagging behind. Only 20 per cent of its server farms, which usually require a lot of energy, are powered by renewable energy.

Next month representatives from Microsoft will visit Iceland to see what can be done.

In the US, Yahoo, Microsoft and Google are moving server and data storage farms to the banks of the windswept Columbia River in Oregon because of its cheap and reliable hydro-electric power. Google is also building a massive server farm near Eemshaven in the Netherlands, where 100,000 servers will have access to 30 megawatts of power, some of which will be delivered by windmills. ®

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