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Google and Microsoft look to wind power

LONDON - Google and Microsoft could become investors in offshore wind farms in Britain as part of their green strategy, according to the Financial Times.

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Neither company have confirmed the plans, but investing in wind could significantly reduce the IT companies' non-renewable energy consumption.

Google has already made a raft of investments to reduce energy consumption, including a $10.25m investment in August 2008 in geothermal technology that produces electricity from underground heat.

Google said today it wouldn't comment on future investment opportunities, and said while it has made a number of investments in green technology it had no plans to announce anything new.

Writing on the Google website, however, the company has laid out numerous green projects.

"One of our key projects relating to renewable energy is REC. The idea of this project is that we will work to develop electricity from renewable energy sources that is cheaper than electricity produced from coal with a goal of producing one gigawatt of renewable energy capacity - enough to power a city the size of San Francisco - in years, not decades. As part of this effort, Google.org is making strategic investments and grants, advancing key public policies, and using Google products to unlock critical information."

Microsoft has also been taking steps to reduce its power consumption by setting up a mega data centre in Dublin where the colder climate reduces the need for mechanical cooling.

The electricity consumption and greenhouse gas emission caused by the companies is unknown but the huge data centres used by Google and Microsoft, as well as the emissions caused by computers and the internet, are believed to be particularly energy intensive.

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